Accuracy of finite element model-based multi-organ deformable image registration

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Abstract

As more pretreatment imaging becomes integrated into the treatment planning process and full three-dimensional image-guidance becomes part of the treatment delivery the need for a deformable image registration technique becomes more apparent. A novel finite element model-based multi-organ deformable image registration method, MORFEUS, has been developed. The basis of this method is twofold: first, individual organ deformation can be accurately modeled by deforming the surface of the organ at one instance into the surface of the organ at another instance and assigning the material properties that allow the internal structures to be accurately deformed into the secondary position and second, multi-organ deformable alignment can be achieved by explicitly defining the deformation of a subset of organs and assigning surface interfaces between organs. The feasibility and accuracy of the method was tested on MR thoracic and abdominal images of healthy volunteers at inhale and exhale. For the thoracic cases, the lungs and external surface were explicitly deformed and the breasts were implicitly deformed based on its relation to the lung and external surface. For the abdominal cases, the liver, spleen, and external surface were explicitly deformed and the stomach and kidneys were implicitly deformed. The average accuracy (average absolute error) of the lung and liver deformation, determined by tracking visible bifurcations, was 0.19 (s.d.: 0.09), 0.28 (s.d.: 0.12) and 0.17(s.d.:0.07)cm, in the LR, AP, and IS directions, respectively. The average accuracy of implicitly deformed organs was 0.11 (s.d.: 0.11), 0.13 (s.d.: 0.12), and 0.08(s.d.:0.09)cm, in the LR, AP, and IS directions, respectively. The average vector magnitude of the accuracy was 0.44(s.d.:0.20)cm for the lung and liver deformation and 0.24(s.d.:0.18)cm for the implicitly deformed organs. The two main processes, explicit deformation of the selected organs and finite element analysis calculations, require less than 120 and 495s, respectively. This platform can facilitate the integration of deformable image registration into online image guidance procedures, dose calculations, and tissue response monitoring as well as performing multi-modality image registration for purposes of treatment planning.

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