MR image overlay guidance: System evaluation for preclinical use

Paweena U-Thainual, Jan Fritz, Choladawan Moonjaita, Tamas Ungi, Aaron Flammang, John A. Carrino, Gabor Fichtinger, Iulian Iordachita

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: A clinical augmented reality guidance system was developed for MRI-guided musculoskeletal interventions Magnetic Resonance Image Overlay System (MR-IOS). The purpose of this study was to assess MRI compatibility, system accuracy, technical efficacy, and operator performance of the MR-IOS. Methods and materials: The impact of the MR-IOS on the MR environment was assessed by measuring image quality with signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and signal intensity uniformity with the system in various on/off states. The system accuracy was assessed with an in-room preclinical experiment by performing 62 needle insertions on a spine phantom by an expert operator measuring entry, depth, angle, and target errors. Technical efficacy and operator performance were tested in laboratory by running an experiment with 40 novice operators (20 using freehand technique versus 20 MR-IOS-guided) with each operator inserting 10 needles into a geometric phantom. Technical efficacy was measured by comparing the success rates of needle insertions between the two operator groups. Operator performance was assessed by comparing total procedure times, total needle path distance, presumed tissue damage, and speed of individual insertions between the two operator groups. Results: The MR-IOS maximally altered SNR by 2% with no perceptible change in image quality or uniformity. Accuracy assessment showed mean entry error of 1.6 ± 0.6 mm, depth error of 0.7 ± 0.5 mm, angle error of 1.5 ± 1.1, and target error of 1.9 ± 0.8 mm. Technical efficacy showed a statistically significant difference (p = 0.031) between success rates (freehand 35.0% vs. MR-IOS 80.95%). Operator performance showed: mean total procedure time of 40.3 ± 4.4 (s) for freehand and 37.0 ± 3.7 (s) for MR-IOS (p = 0.584), needle path distances of 152.6 ± 15.0 mm for freehand and 116.9 ± 8.7 mm for MR-IOS (p = 0.074), presumed tissue damage of 7,417.2 ± 955.6 mm2 for freehand and 6062.2 ± 678.5 mm2 for MR-IOS (p = 0.347), and speed of insertion 5.9 ± 0.4 mm/s for freehand and 4.3 ± 0.3 mm/s for MR-IOS (p = 0.003). Conclusion: The MR-IOS is compatible within a clinical MR imaging environment, accurate for needle placement, technically efficacious, and improves operator performance over the unassisted insertion technique. The MR-IOS was found to be suitable for further testing in a clinical setting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)365-378
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Computer Assisted Radiology and Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2013


  • Augmented reality
  • Image overlay
  • Needle guidance
  • Percutaneous interventions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Health Informatics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design

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