SU-E-J-237: Image Feature Based DRR and Portal Image Registration




Two-dimensional (2D) matching of the kV X-ray and digitally reconstructed radiography (DRR) images is an important setup technique for image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT). In our clinics, mutual information based methods are used for this purpose on commercial linear accelerators, but with often needs for manual corrections. This work proved the feasibility that feature based image transform can be used to register kV and DRR images.


The scale invariant feature transform (SIFT) method was implemented to detect the matching image details (or key points) between the kV and DRR images. These key points represent high image intensity gradients, and thus the scale invariant features. Due to the poor image contrast from our kV image, direct application of the SIFT method yielded many detection errors. To assist the finding of key points, the center coordinates of the kV and DRR images were read from the DICOM header, and the two groups of key points with similar relative positions to their corresponding centers were paired up. Using these points, a rigid transform (with scaling, horizontal and vertical shifts) was estimated. We also artificially introduced vertical and horizontal shifts to test the accuracy of our registration method on anterior-posterior (AP) and lateral pelvic images.


The results provided a satisfactory overlay of the transformed kV onto the DRR image. The introduced vs. detected shifts were fit into a linear regression. In the AP image experiments, linear regression analysis showed a slope of 1.15 and 0.98 with an R2 of 0.89 and 0.99 for the horizontal and vertical shifts, respectively. The results are 1.2 and 1.3 with R2 of 0.72 and 0.82 for the lateral image shifts.


This work provided an alternative technique for kV to DRR alignment. Further improvements in the estimation accuracy and image contrast tolerance are underway.