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Surg Neurol Int. 2013 Apr 17;4(Suppl 3):S123-8. doi: 10.4103/2152-7806.110660. Print 2013.

Image fusion pitfalls for cranial radiosurgery.

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  • 1Department of Neurosurgery, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Brain and Mind Research Institute, University of Sydney, Australia.

Abstract

Stereotactic radiosurgery requires imaging to define both the stereotactic space in which the treatment is delivered and the target itself. Image fusion is the process of using rotation and translation to bring a second image set into alignment with the first image set. This allows the potential concurrent use of multiple image sets to define the target and stereotactic space. While a single magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) sequence alone can be used for delineation of the target and fiducials, there may be significant advantages to using additional imaging sets including other MRI sequences, computed tomography (CT) scans, and advanced imaging sets such as catheter-based angiography, diffusor tension imaging-based fiber tracking and positon emission tomography in order to more accurately define the target and surrounding critical structures. Stereotactic space is usually defined by detection of fiducials on the stereotactic head frame or mask system. Unfortunately MRI sequences are susceptible to geometric distortion, whereas CT scans do not face this problem (although they have poorer resolution of the target in most cases). Thus image fusion can allow the definition of stereotactic space to proceed from the geometrically accurate CT images at the same time as using MRI to define the target. The use of image fusion is associated with risk of error introduced by inaccuracies of the fusion process, as well as workflow changes that if not properly accounted for can mislead the treating clinician. The purpose of this review is to describe the uses of image fusion in stereotactic radiosurgery as well as its potential pitfalls.

KEYWORDS:

Image fusion; radiosurgery; stereotactic

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