Real-time fusion of magnetic resonance (MR) and ultrasound (US) images could facilitate safe and accurate needle placement in spinal interventions. We develop an entirely image-based registration method (independent of or complementary to surgical trackers) that includes an efficient US probe pose initialization algorithm. The registration enables the simultaneous display of 2D ultrasound image slices relative to 3D pre-procedure MR images for navigation. A dictionary-based 3D-2D pose initialization algorithm was developed in which likely probe positions are predefined in a dictionary with feature encoding by Haar wavelet filters. Feature vectors representing the 2D US image are computed by scaling and translating multiple Haar basis filters to capture scale, location, and relative intensity patterns of distinct anatomical features. Following pose initialization, fast 3D-2D registration was performed by optimizing normalized cross-correlation between intra- and pre-procedure images using Powell's method. Experiments were performed using a lumbar puncture phantom and a fresh cadaver specimen presenting realistic image quality in spinal US imaging. Accuracy was quantified by comparing registration transforms to ground truth motion imparted by a computer-controlled motion system and calculating target registration error (TRE) in anatomical landmarks. Initialization using a 315-length feature vector yielded median translation accuracy of 2.7 mm (3.4 mm interquartile range, IQR) in the phantom and 2.1 mm (2.5 mm IQR) in the cadaver. By comparison, storing the entire image set in the dictionary and optimizing correlation yielded a comparable median accuracy of 2.1 mm (2.8 mm IQR) in the phantom and 2.9 mm (3.5 mm IQR) in the cadaver. However, the dictionary-based method reduced memory requirements by 47× compared to storing the entire image set. The overall 3D error after registration measured using 3D landmarks was 3.2 mm (1.8 mm IQR) mm in the phantom and 3.0 mm (2.3 mm IQR) mm in the cadaver. The system was implemented in a 3D Slicer interface to facilitate translation to clinical studies. Haar feature based initialization provided accuracy and robustness at a level that was sufficient for real-time registration using an entirely image-based method for ultrasound navigation. Such an approach could improve the accuracy and safety of spinal interventions in broad utilization, since it is entirely software-based and can operate free from the cost and workflow requirements of surgical trackers.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging