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12 March 2008 Serial volumetric registration of pulmonary CT studies
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Detailed morphological analysis of pulmonary structures and tissue, provided by modern CT scanners, is of utmost importance as in the case of oncological applications both for diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up. In this case, a patient may go through several tomographic studies throughout a period of time originating volumetric sets of image data that must be appropriately registered in order to track suspicious radiological findings. The structures or regions of interest may change their position or shape in CT exams acquired at different moments, due to postural, physiologic or pathologic changes, so, the exams should be registered before any follow-up information can be extracted. Postural mismatching throughout time is practically impossible to avoid being particularly evident when imaging is performed at the limiting spatial resolution. In this paper, we propose a method for intra-patient registration of pulmonary CT studies, to assist in the management of the oncological pathology. Our method takes advantage of prior segmentation work. In the first step, the pulmonary segmentation is performed where trachea and main bronchi are identified. Then, the registration method proceeds with a longitudinal alignment based on morphological features of the lungs, such as the position of the carina, the pulmonary areas, the centers of mass and the pulmonary trans-axial principal axis. The final step corresponds to the trans-axial registration of the corresponding pulmonary masked regions. This is accomplished by a pairwise sectional registration process driven by an iterative search of the affine transformation parameters leading to optimal similarity metrics. Results with several cases of intra-patient, intra-modality registration, up to 7 time points, show that this method provides accurate registration which is needed for quantitative tracking of lesions and the development of image fusion strategies that may effectively assist the follow-up process.
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José Silvestre Silva, Augusto Silva, and Beatriz Sousa Santos "Serial volumetric registration of pulmonary CT studies", Proc. SPIE 6916, Medical Imaging 2008: Physiology, Function, and Structure from Medical Images, 691611 (12 March 2008);

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