Irreversible electroporation (IRE) is a soft tissue ablation technique suitable for treatment of inoperable tumours in the pancreas. The process involves applying a high voltage electric field to the tissue containing the mass using needle electrodes, leaving cancerous cells irreversibly damaged and vulnerable to apoptosis. Efficacy of the treatment depends heavily on the accuracy of needle placement and requires a high degree of skill from the operator. In this paper, we describe an Augmented Reality (AR) system designed to overcome the challenges associated with planning and guiding the needle insertion process. Our solution, based on the HoloLens (Microsoft, USA) platform, tracks the position of the headset, needle electrodes and ultrasound (US) probe in space. The proof of concept implementation of the system uses this tracking data to render real-time holographic guides on the HoloLens, giving the user insight into the current progress of needle insertion and an indication of the target needle trajectory. The operator’s field of view is augmented using visual guides and real-time US feed rendered on a holographic plane, eliminating the need to consult external monitors. Based on these early prototypes, we are aiming to develop a system that will lower the skill level required for IRE while increasing overall accuracy of needle insertion and, hence, the likelihood of successful treatment.
Timur Kuzhagaliyev, Neil T. Clancy, Mirek Janatka, Kevin Tchaka, Francisco Vasconcelos, Matthew J. Clarkson, Kurinchi Gurusamy, David J. Hawkes, Brian Davidson, and Danail Stoyanov, "Augmented reality needle ablation guidance tool for irreversible electroporation in the pancreas," Proc. SPIE 10576, Medical Imaging 2018: Image-Guided Procedures, Robotic Interventions, and Modeling, 1057613 (Presented at SPIE Medical Imaging: February 14, 2018; Published: 13 March 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2293671.
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