UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Probabilistic registration of an unbiased statistical shape model to ultrasound images of the spine. Rasoulian, Abtin; Rohling, Robert N.; Abolmaesumi, Purang


The placement of an epidural needle is among the most difficult regional anesthetic techniques. Ultrasound has been proposed to improve success of placement. However, it has not become the standard-of-care because of limitations in the depictions and interpretation of the key anatomical features. We propose to augment the ultrasound images with a registered statistical shape model of the spine to aid interpretation. The model is created with a novel deformable group-wise registration method which utilizes a probabilistic approach to register groups of point sets. The method is compared to a volume-based model building technique and it demonstrates better generalization and compactness. We instantiate and register the shape model to a spine surface probability map extracted from the ultrasound images. Validation is performed on human subjects. The achieved registration accuracy (2-4 mm) is sufficient to guide the choice of puncture site and trajectory of an epidural needle. Copyright 2012 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers. One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic reproduction and distribution, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the content of the paper are prohibited.

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