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Evaluation of Deformable Registration Methods for MR-CT Atlas Alignment


Hofmann,  M
Department Empirical Inference, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Scheel, V., Hofmann, M., Rehfeld N, Judenhofer MS, Claussen, C., & Pichler, B. (2007). Evaluation of Deformable Registration Methods for MR-CT Atlas Alignment.

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Deformable registration methods are essential for multimodality imaging. Many different methods exist but due to the complexity of the deformed images a direct comparison of the methods is difficult. One particular application that requires high accuracy registration of MR-CT images is atlas-based attenuation correction for PET/MR. We compare four deformable registration algorithms for 3D image data included in the Open Source "National Library of Medicine Insight Segmentation and Registration Toolkit" (ITK). An interactive landmark based registration using MiraView (Siemens) has been used as gold standard. The automatic algorithms provided by ITK are based on the metrics Mattes mutual information as well as on normalized mutual information. The transformations are calculated by interpolating over a uniform B-Spline grid laying over the image to be warped. The algorithms were tested on head images from 10 subjects. We implemented a measure which segments head interior bone and air based on the CT images and l ow intensity classes of corresponding MRI images. The segmentation of bone is performed by individually calculating the lowest Hounsfield unit threshold for each CT image. The compromise is made by quantifying the number of overlapping voxels of the remaining structures. We show that the algorithms provided by ITK achieve similar or better accuracy than the time-consuming interactive landmark based registration. Thus, ITK provides an ideal platform to generate accurately fused datasets from different modalities, required for example for building training datasets for Atlas-based attenuation correction.