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Acta Radiol. 2017 Nov;58(11):1349-1357. doi: 10.1177/0284185117693459. Epub 2017 Feb 20.

Automatic image fusion of real-time ultrasound with computed tomography images: a prospective comparison between two auto-registration methods.

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1 Department of Radiology and Center for Imaging Science, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
2 Medical Imaging R&D Group, Health & Medical Equipment Business, Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., Seoul, Republic of Korea.
3 Infrastructure Technology Lab, R&D Center, Samsung Medison, Republic of Korea.
4 Biostatistics and Clinical Epidemiology Center, Samsung Medical Center, Seoul, Republic of Korea.


Background A major drawback of conventional manual image fusion is that the process may be complex, especially for less-experienced operators. Recently, two automatic image fusion techniques called Positioning and Sweeping auto-registration have been developed. Purpose To compare the accuracy and required time for image fusion of real-time ultrasonography (US) and computed tomography (CT) images between Positioning and Sweeping auto-registration. Material and Methods Eighteen consecutive patients referred for planning US for radiofrequency ablation or biopsy for focal hepatic lesions were enrolled. Image fusion using both auto-registration methods was performed for each patient. Registration error, time required for image fusion, and number of point locks used were compared using the Wilcoxon signed rank test. Results Image fusion was successful in all patients. Positioning auto-registration was significantly faster than Sweeping auto-registration for both initial (median, 11 s [range, 3-16 s] vs. 32 s [range, 21-38 s]; P < 0.001] and complete (median, 34.0 s [range, 26-66 s] vs. 47.5 s [range, 32-90]; P = 0.001] image fusion. Registration error of Positioning auto-registration was significantly higher for initial image fusion (median, 38.8 mm [range, 16.0-84.6 mm] vs. 18.2 mm [6.7-73.4 mm]; P = 0.029), but not for complete image fusion (median, 4.75 mm [range, 1.7-9.9 mm] vs. 5.8 mm [range, 2.0-13.0 mm]; P = 0.338]. Number of point locks required to refine the initially fused images was significantly higher with Positioning auto-registration (median, 2 [range, 2-3] vs. 1 [range, 1-2]; P = 0.012]. Conclusion Positioning auto-registration offers faster image fusion between real-time US and pre-procedural CT images than Sweeping auto-registration. The final registration error is similar between the two methods.


Fusion imaging; auto-registration; computed tomography (CT); liver; ultrasonography

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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