Comparison and evaluation of retrospective intermodality image registration techniques

Jay West, J. Michael Fitzpatrick, Matthew Y. Wang, Benoit M. Dawant, Calvin R. Maurer, Robert M. Kessler, Robert J. Maciunas, Christian Barillot, Didier Lemoine, André Collignon, Frederik Maes, Paul Suetens, Dirk Vandermeulen, Petra A. Van den Elsen, Paul F. Hemler, Sandy Napel, Thilaka S. Sumanaweera, Beth Harkness, Derek L.G. Hill, Colin StudholmeGregoire Malandain, Xavier Pennec, Marilyn E. Noz, Gerald Q. Maguire, Michael Pollack, Charles A. Pelizzari, Richard A. Robb, Dennis Hanson, Roger P. Woods

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


All retrospective image registration methods have attached to them some intrinsic estimate of registration error. However, this estimate of accuracy may not always be a good indicator of the distance between actual and estimated positions of targets within the cranial cavity. This paper describes a project whose principal goal is to use a prospective method based on fiducial markers as a "gold standard" to perform an objective, blinded evaluation of the accuracy of several retrospective image-to-image registration techniques. Image volumes of three modalities - CT, MR, and PET - were taken of patients undergoing neurosurgery at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. These volumes had all traces of the fiducial markers removed, and were provided to project collaborators outside Vanderbilt, who then performed retrospective registrations on the volumes, calculating transformations from CT to MR and/or from PET to MR, and communicated their transformations to Vanderbilt where the accuracy of each registration was evaluated. In this evaluation the accuracy is measured at multiple "regions of interest", i.e. areas in the brain which would commonly be areas of neurological interest. A region is defined in the MR image and its centroid C is determined. Then the prospective registration is used to obtain the corresponding point C′ in CT or PET. To this point the retrospective registration is then applied, producing C″ in MR. Statistics are gathered on the target registration error (TRE), which is the disparity between the original point C and its corresponding point C″. A second goal of the project is to evaluate the importance of correcting geometrical distortion in MR images, by comparing the retrospective TRE in the rectified images, i.e. those which have had the distortion correction applied, with that of the same images before rectification. This paper presents preliminary results of this study along with a brief description of each registration technique and an estimate of both preparation and execution time needed to perform the registration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)332-347
Number of pages16
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 1996
EventMedical Imaging 1996 Image Processing - Newport Beach, CA, United States
Duration: Feb 12 1996Feb 15 1996


  • Accuracy validation
  • CT
  • Fiducial markers
  • Image registration
  • MR
  • MR distortion
  • Medical imaging
  • PET

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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