12 April 2005 MR and CT image fusion of the cervical spine: a noninvasive alternative to CT-myelography
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CT-Myelography (CTM) is routinely used for planning surgery for degenerative disease of the spine, but its invasive nature, significant potential morbidity, and high costs make a noninvasive substitute desirable. We report our work on evaluating CT and MR image fusion as an alternative to CTM. Because the spine is only piecewise rigid, a multi-rigid approach to the registration of spinal CT and MR images was developed (SPIE 2004), in which the spine on CT images is first segmented into separate vertebrae, each of which is then rigidly registered with the corresponding vertebra on MR images. The results are then blended to obtain fusion images. Since they contain information from both modalities, we hypothesized that fusion images would be equivalent to CTM. To test this we selected 34 patients who had undergone MRI and CTM for degenerative disease of the cervical spine, and used the multi-rigid approach to produce fused images. A clinical vignette for each patient was created and presented along with either CT/MR fusion images or CTM images. A group of spine surgeons are asked to formulate detailed surgical plans based on each set of images, and the surgical plans are compared. A similar study assessing diagnostic agreement is being performed with neuroradiologists, who also assess the accuracy of registration. Our work to date has demonstrated the feasibility of segmentation and multi-rigid fusion in clinical cases and the acceptability of the questionnaire to physicians. Preliminary analysis of one surgeon's and one neuroradiologist’s evaluation has been performed.
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Yangqiu Hu, Yangqiu Hu, Sohail K. Mirza, Sohail K. Mirza, Jeffrey G. Jarvik, Jeffrey G. Jarvik, Patrick J. Heagerty, Patrick J. Heagerty, David R. Haynor, David R. Haynor, "MR and CT image fusion of the cervical spine: a noninvasive alternative to CT-myelography", Proc. SPIE 5744, Medical Imaging 2005: Visualization, Image-Guided Procedures, and Display, (12 April 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.594990; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.594990

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