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Acad Radiol. 2007 Nov;14(11):1367-81.

Registering histologic and MR images of prostate for image-based cancer detection.

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  • 1Section of Biomedical Image Analysis, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA.



Needle biopsy is currently the only way to confirm prostate cancer. To increase prostate cancer diagnostic rate, needles are expected to be deployed at suspicious cancer locations. High-contrast magnetic resonance (MR) imaging provides a powerful tool for detecting suspicious cancerous tissues. To do this, MR appearances of cancerous tissue should be characterized and learned from a sufficient number of prostate MR images with known cancer information. However, ground-truth cancer information is only available in histologic images. Therefore it is necessary to warp ground-truth cancerous regions in histological images to MR images by a registration procedure. The objective of this article is to develop a registration technique for aligning histological and MR images of the same prostate.


Five pairs of histological and T2-weighted MR images of radical prostatectomy specimens are collected. For each pair, registration is guided by two sets of correspondences that can be reliably established on prostate boundaries and internal salient bloblike structures of histologic and MR images.


Our developed registration method can accurately register histologic and MR images. It yields results comparable to manual registration, in terms of landmark distance and volume overlap. It also outperforms both affine registration and boundary-guided registration methods.


We have developed a novel method for deformable registration of histologic and MR images of the same prostate. Besides the collection of ground-truth cancer information in MR images, the method has other potential applications. An automatic, accurate registration of histologic and MR images actually builds a bridge between in vivo anatomical information and ex vivo pathologic information, which is valuable for various clinical studies.

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