Multi-stage 3D-2D registration for correction of anatomical deformation in image-guided spine surgery

M. D. Ketcha, T. De Silva, A. Uneri, M. W. Jacobson, J. Goerres, G. Kleinszig, S. Vogt, J. P. Wolinsky, J. H. Siewerdsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A multi-stage image-based 3D-2D registration method is presented that maps annotations in a 3D image (e.g. point labels annotating individual vertebrae in preoperative CT) to an intraoperative radiograph in which the patient has undergone non-rigid anatomical deformation due to changes in patient positioning or due to the intervention itself. The proposed method (termed msLevelCheck) extends a previous rigid registration solution (LevelCheck) to provide an accurate mapping of vertebral labels in the presence of spinal deformation. The method employs a multi-stage series of rigid 3D-2D registrations performed on sets of automatically determined and increasingly localized sub-images, with the final stage achieving a rigid mapping for each label to yield a locally rigid yet globally deformable solution. The method was evaluated first in a phantom study in which a CT image of the spine was acquired followed by a series of 7 mobile radiographs with increasing degree of deformation applied. Second, the method was validated using a clinical data set of patients exhibiting strong spinal deformation during thoracolumbar spine surgery. Registration accuracy was assessed using projection distance error (PDE) and failure rate (PDE > 20 mm - i.e. label registered outside vertebra). The msLevelCheck method was able to register all vertebrae accurately for all cases of deformation in the phantom study, improving the maximum PDE of the rigid method from 22.4 mm to 3.9 mm. The clinical study demonstrated the feasibility of the approach in real patient data by accurately registering all vertebral labels in each case, eliminating all instances of failure encountered in the conventional rigid method. The multi-stage approach demonstrated accurate mapping of vertebral labels in the presence of strong spinal deformation. The msLevelCheck method maintains other advantageous aspects of the original LevelCheck method (e.g. compatibility with standard clinical workflow, large capture range, and robustness against mismatch in image content) and extends capability to cases exhibiting strong changes in spinal curvature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4604-4622
Number of pages19
JournalPhysics in medicine and biology
Issue number11
StatePublished - May 11 2017


  • 3D-2D image registration
  • anatomical deformation
  • image-guided surgery
  • quality assurance
  • spine surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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