5 March 2007 Determination of 3D location and rotation of lumbar vertebrae in CT images by symmetry-based auto-registration
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Quantitative measurement of vertebral rotation is important in surgical planning, analysis of surgical results, and monitoring of the progression of spinal deformities. However, many established and newly developed techniques for measuring axial vertebral rotation do not exploit three-dimensional (3D) information, which may result in virtual axial rotation because of the sagittal and coronal rotation of vertebrae. We propose a novel automatic approach to the measurement of the location and rotation of vertebrae in 3D without prior volume reformation, identification of appropriate cross-sections or aid by statistical models. The vertebra under investigation is encompassed by a mask in the form of an elliptical cylinder in 3D, defined by its center of rotation and the rotation angles. We exploit the natural symmetry of the vertebral body, vertebral column and vertebral canal by dividing the vertebral mask by its mid-axial, mid-sagittal and mid-coronal plane, so that the obtained volume pairs contain symmetrical parts of the observed anatomy. Mirror volume pairs are then simultaneously registered to each other by robust rigid auto-registration, using the weighted sum of absolute differences between the intensities of the corresponding volume pairs as the similarity measure. The method was evaluated on 50 lumbar vertebrae from normal and scoliotic computed tomography (CT) spinal scans, showing relatively large capture ranges and distinctive maxima at the correct locations and rotation angles. The proposed method may aid the measurement of the dimensions of vertebral pedicles, foraminae and canal, and may be a valuable tool for clinical evaluation of the spinal deformities in 3D.
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Tomaž Vrtovec, Boštjan Likar, Franjo Pernuš, "Determination of 3D location and rotation of lumbar vertebrae in CT images by symmetry-based auto-registration", Proc. SPIE 6512, Medical Imaging 2007: Image Processing, 65121Q (5 March 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.710580; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.710580


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