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12 May 2004 New method to assess the registration of CT-MR images of the head
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Due to their complementary information content, both X-ray computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance (MR) imaging are employed in certain clinical cases to improve the understanding of the pathology. To spatially relate the two datasets, image-registration and image fusion is employed. However, registration errors, either global or local, are common and are non-uniform within the image volume. In this paper, we propose a new algorithm, which assesses the quality of the registration locally within the CT-MR volume and provides visual, color-coded feedback to the user about the location and extent of good/bad correspondence between the two images. The proposed registration assessment algorithm is based on a correspondence analysis of bone structures in the CT and MR images. For that purpose, a custom segmentation algorithm for bone in MR images has been developed, which is based on a stochastic threshold computation method. This segmentation method for MR images and the CT-MR registration assessment algorithm were validated on simulated MR datasets and real CT-MR image pairs of the head. Some partial-volume effects occur at the borders of the bone structures and at the bone interfaces with air, which cannot be separated from bone in the MR image. The presented assessment method of CT-MR image registration offers the user a new tool to evaluate the overall and local quality of the registration. With this information, the user does not have to blindly trust the fused CT-MR datasets but can easily identify areas of inaccurate correspondence. The application of the algorithm is so far limited to T1-weighted MR and CT images of the head area.
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Ion P. I. Pappas, Puja Malik, Martin A. Styner, Jubei Liu, and Marco Caversaccio "New method to assess the registration of CT-MR images of the head", Proc. SPIE 5370, Medical Imaging 2004: Image Processing, (12 May 2004);

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