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21 March 2014 A rib-specific multimodal registration algorithm for fused unfolded rib visualization using PET/CT
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Respiratory motion affects the alignment of PET and CT volumes from PET/CT examinations in a non-rigid manner. This becomes particularly apparent if reviewing fine anatomical structures such as ribs when assessing bone metastases, which frequently occur in many advanced cancers. To make this routine diagnostic task more efficient, a fused unfolded rib visualization for 18F-NaF PET/CT is presented. It allows to review the whole rib cage in a single image. This advanced visualization is enabled by a novel rib-specific registration algorithm that rigidly optimizes the local alignment of each individual rib in both modalities based on a matched filter response function. More specifically, rib centerlines are automatically extracted from CT and subsequently individually aligned to the corresponding bone-specific PET rib uptake pattern. The proposed method has been validated on 20 PET/CT scans acquired at different clinical sites. It has been demonstrated that the presented rib- specific registration method significantly improves the rib alignment without having to run complex deformable registration algorithms. At the same time, it guarantees that rib lesions are not further deformed, which may otherwise affect quantitative measurements such as SUVs. Considering clinically relevant distance thresholds, the centerline portion with good alignment compared to the ground truth improved from 60:6% to 86:7% after registration while approximately 98% can be still considered as acceptably aligned.
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Jens N. Kaftan, Marcin Kopaczka, Andreas Wimmer, Günther Platsch, and Jérôme Declerck "A rib-specific multimodal registration algorithm for fused unfolded rib visualization using PET/CT", Proc. SPIE 9034, Medical Imaging 2014: Image Processing, 90341C (21 March 2014);

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