Significant efforts have been dedicated to minimizing invasiveness associated with surgical interventions, most of which have been possible thanks to the developments in medical imaging, surgical navigation, visualization and display technologies. Image-guided interventions have promised to dramatically change the way therapies are delivered to many organs. However, in spite of the development of many sophisticated technologies over the past two decades, other than some isolated examples of successful implementations, minimally invasive therapy is far from enjoying the wide acceptance once envisioned. This paper provides a large-scale overview of the state-of-the-art developments, identifies several barriers thought to have hampered the wider adoption of image-guided navigation, and suggests areas of research that may potentially advance the field.
OBJECTIVE: Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a widely used imaging modality for studies of knee osteoarthritis (OA). Compared to radiography, MRI offers exceptional soft tissue imaging and true three-dimensional (3D) visualization. However, MRI is expensive both due to the cost of acquisition and evaluation of the images. The goal of our study is to develop a new method to address the cost of MRI by combining innovative acquisition methods and automated post-processing software. METHODS: Ten healthy volunteers were scanned with three different MRI protocols: A standard 3D dual-echo steady state (DESS) pulse sequence, an accelerated DESS (DESS), acquired at approximately half the time compared to DESS, and a multi-echo time DESS (DESS), which is capable of producing measurements of T2 relaxation time. A software tool was used to measure cartilage volume. Accuracy was quantified by comparing DESS to DESS and DESS and precision was measured using repeat readings and acquisitions. T2 precision was determined using duplicate DESS acquisitions. Intra-class correlation coefficients (ICCs), root-mean square standard deviation (RMSSD), and the coefficient of variation (CoV) were used to quantify accuracy and precision. RESULTS: The accuracies of DESS and DESS were CoV = 3.7% and CoV = 6.6% respectively, while precision was 3.8%, 3.0%, and 3.1% for DESS, DESS and DESS. T2 repositioning precision was 5.8%. CONCLUSION: The results demonstrate that accurate and precise quantification of cartilage volume is possible using a combination of substantially faster MRI acquisition and post-processing software. Precise measurements of cartilage T2 and volume can be made using the same acquisition.
BACKGROUND: Bilateral mastectomies (BM) are traditionally performed by single surgeons (SS); a co-surgeon (CS) technique, where each surgeon concurrently performs a unilateral mastectomy, offers an alternative approach. We examined differences in general surgery time (GST), overall surgery time (OST), and patient complications for BM performed by CS and SS. METHODS: Patients undergoing BM with tissue expander reconstruction (BMTR) between January 2010 and May 2014 at our center were identified through operative case logs. GST (incision to end of BM procedure), reconstruction duration (RST) (plastic surgery start to end of reconstruction) and OST (OST = GST + RST) was calculated. Patient age, presence/stage of cancer, breast weight, axillary procedure performed, and 30-day postoperative complications were extracted from medical records. Differences in GST and OST between CS and SS cases were assessed with a t test. A multivariate linear regression was fit to identify factors associated with GST. RESULTS: A total of 116 BMTR cases were performed [CS, n = 67 (57.8 %); SS, n = 49 (42.2 %)]. Demographic characteristics did not differ between groups. GST and OST were significantly shorter for CS cases, 75.8 versus 116.8 min, p < .0001, and 255.2 versus 278.3 min, p = .005, respectively. Presence of a CS significantly reduces BMTR time (β = -38.82, p < .0001). Breast weight (β = 0.0093, p = .03) and axillary dissection (β = 28.69, p = .0003) also impacted GST. CONCLUSIONS: The CS approach to BMTR reduced both GST and OST; however, the degree of time savings (35.1 and 8.3 %, respectively) was less than hypothesized. A larger study is warranted to better characterize time, cost, and outcomes of the CS-approach for BM.
PURPOSE: To compare clinical outcomes of image-based versus non-image-based interstitial brachytherapy (IBBT) for vaginal cancer. METHODS AND MATERIALS: Of 72 patients with vaginal cancer treated with brachytherapy (BT), 47 had image guidance (CT=31, MRI=16) and 25 did not. Kaplan-Meier (KM) estimates were generated for any recurrence, local control (LC), disease-free interval (DFI), and overall survival (OS) and Cox models were used to assess prognostic factors. RESULTS: Median age was 66 and median follow-up time was 24months. Median cumulative EQD2 dose was 80.8Gy in the non-IBBT group and 77Gy in the IBBT group. For non-IBBT versus IBBT, the 2-year KM LC was 71% vs. 93% (p=0.03); DFI was 54% vs. 86% (p=0.04); and OS 52% vs. 82% (p=0.35). On multivariate analysis, IBBT was associated with better DFI (HR 0.24, 95% CI 0.07-0.73). Having any 2 or more of chemotherapy, high-dose-rate (HDR) BT or IBBT (temporally correlated variables) significantly reduced risk of relapse (HR=0.33, 95% CI=0.13-0.83), compared to having none of these factors. CONCLUSION: Over time, the use of chemotherapy, HDR, and IBBT has increased in vaginal cancer. The combination of these factors resulted in the highest rates of disease control. Image-guided brachytherapy for vaginal cancer patients maximizes disease control.
We report percutaneous cryoablation of spine tumors in 7 consecutive patients (5 men, 2 women [mean age, 47 years; range, 17-68 years]) by using intraprocedural image monitoring of ice ball margins to protect adjacent neural elements. Complete tumor ablation was achieved in all patients without neurologic complication. Pain relief was achieved in 4 of 5 (80%) patients; the patient with persistent pain was later found to have enlarging metastases at other sites.
OBJECTIVE: We report the development and use of MRI-compatible and MRI-visible 3D printed models in conjunction with advanced visualization software models to plan and simulate safe access routes to achieve a theoretic zone of cryoablation for percutaneous image-guided treatment of a C7 pedicle osteoid osteoma and an L1 lamina osteoblastoma. Both models altered procedural planning and patient care. CONCLUSION: Patient-specific MRI-visible models can be helpful in planning complex percutaneous image-guided cryoablation procedures.
Purpose To investigate the safety and targeting errors of deep-brain stimulation (DBS) electrodes placed under interventional magnetic resonance (MR) imaging, which allows near real-time anatomic placement without physiologic mapping. Materials and Methods Retrospectively evaluated were 10 consecutive patients (five women, five men) with a mean age of 59.9 years (age range, 17-79 years). These patients underwent interventional MR imaging-guided DBS placement for movement disorders from September 2013 to August 2014 for placement of 19 DBS electrodes in cases where traditional frame-based surgery may be challenging because of the following: dystonia resulting in difficulty in placing the patients in frame, patient's inability or unwillingness to tolerate awake surgery, or anatomic anomaly or variant that could increase the risk of bleeding from microelectrode mapping. Outcomes measured included perioperative hemorrhage, death, and stroke, and electrode functionality assessed at 2 weeks after the operation. In addition, the mean radial error and mean trajectory error were calculated. Results No intraoperative neurologic complications (n = 10 [95% confidence interval: 0%, 31%]) were observed. One patient developed aspiration pneumonia in the postoperative period. Mean radial error was 0.7 mm ± 0.4 (standard deviation) and mean trajectory error was 0.5 mm ± 0.4. All leads delivered clinically effective stimulation. Conclusion Interventional MR imaging-guided DBS electrode placement may be a safe and effective alternative to conventional frame-based surgery in well-selected patients.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has been suggested to associate with alterations in brain connectivity. In this study, we focus on a fiber clustering tractography segmentation strategy to observe white matter connectivity alterations in ASD. Compared to another popular parcellation-based approach for tractography segmentation based on cortical regions, we hypothesized that the clustering-based method could provide a more anatomically correspondent division of white matter. We applied this strategy to conduct a population-based group statistical analysis for the automated prediction of ASD. We obtained a maximum classification accuracy of 81.33% be- tween ASDs and controls, compared to the results of 78.00% from the parcellation-based method.
Subjects undergoing cardiac arrest within a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner are currently removed from the bore and then from the MRI suite, before the delivery of cardiopulmonary resuscitation and de brillation, potentially increasing the risk of mortality. This precludes many higher-risk (acute ischemic and acute stroke) patients from undergoing MRI and MRI-guided intervention. An MRI-conditional cardiac de brillator should enable scanning with de brillation pads attached and the generator ON, enabling application of de brillation within the seconds of MRI after a cardiac event. An MRI-conditional external de brillator may improve patient acceptance for MRI procedures. Methods and Results—A commercial external de brillator was rendered 1.5 Tesla MRI-conditional by the addition of novel radiofrequency lters between the generator and commercial disposable surface pads. The radiofrequency lters reduced emission into the MRI scanner and prevented cable/surface pad heating during imaging, while preserving all the de brillator monitoring and delivery functions. Human volunteers were imaged using high speci c absorption rate sequences to validate MRI image quality and lack of heating. Swine were electrically brillated (n=4) and thereafter de brillated both outside and inside the MRI bore. MRI image quality was reduced by 0.8 or 1.6 dB, with the generator in monitoring mode and operating on battery or AC power, respectively. Commercial surface pads did not create artifacts deeper than 6 mm below the skin surface. Radiofrequency heating was within US Food and Drug Administration guidelines. De brillation was completely successful inside and outside the MRI bore. Conclusions—A prototype MRI-conditional de brillation system successfully de brillated in the MRI without degrading the image quality or increasing the time needed for de brillation. It can increase patient acceptance for MRI procedures.
Registration of multiple 3D ultrasound sectors in order to provide an extended field of view is important for the appreciation of larger anatomical structures at high spatial and temporal resolution. In this paper, we present a method for fully automatic spatio-temporal registration between two partially overlapping 3D ultrasound sequences. The temporal alignment is solved by aligning the normalized cross correlation-over-time curves of the sequences. For the spatial alignment, corresponding 3D Scale Invariant Feature Transform (SIFT) features are extracted from all frames of both sequences independently of the temporal alignment. A rigid transform is then calculated by least squares minimization in combination with random sample consensus. The method is applied to 16 echocardiographic sequences of the left and right ventricles and evaluated against manually annotated temporal events and spatial anatomical landmarks. The mean distances between manually identified landmarks in the left and right ventricles after automatic registration were (mean ± SD) 4.3 ± 1.2 mm compared to a reference error of 2.8 ± 0.6 mm with manual registration. For the temporal alignment, the absolute errors in valvular event times were 14.4 ± 11.6 ms for Aortic Valve (AV) opening, 18.6 ± 16.0 ms for AV closing, and 34.6 ± 26.4 ms for mitral valve opening, compared to a mean inter-frame time of 29 ms.
PURPOSE: To assess whether R2* mapping with a standard Monoexponential (ME) or a Gaussian Augmentation of the Monoexponential (GAME) decay model better characterizes gradient-echo signal decays in gynecological cancers after external beam radiation therapy at 3T, and evaluate implications of modeling for noninvasive identification of intratumoral hypoxia. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Multi-gradient-echo signals were acquired on 25 consecutive patients with gynecologic cancers and three healthy participants during inhalation of different oxygen concentrations at 3T. Data were fitted with both ME and GAME models. Models were compared using F-tests in tumors and muscles in patients, muscles, cervix, and uterus in healthy participants, and across oxygenation levels. RESULTS: GAME significantly improved fitting over ME (P < 0.05): Improvements with GAME covered 34% of tumor regions-of-interest on average, ranging from 6% (of a vaginal tumor) to 68% (of a cervical tumor) in individual tumors. Improvements with GAME were more prominent in areas that would be assumed hypoxic based on ME alone, reaching 90% as ME R2* approached 100 Hz. Gradient echo decay parameters at different oxygenation levels were not significantly different (P = 0.81). CONCLUSION: R2* may prove sensitive to hypoxia; however, inaccurate representations of underlying data may limit the success of quantitative assessments. Although the degree to which R2 or σ values correlate with hypoxia remains unknown, improved characterization with GAME increases the potential for determining any correlates of fit parameters with biomarkers, such as oxygenation status. J. MAGN. RESON. IMAGING 2016;44:1020-1030.
The National Alliance for Medical Image Computing (NA-MIC) was launched in 2004 with the goal of investigating and developing an open source software infrastructure for the extraction of information and knowledge from medical images using computational methods. Several leading research and engineering groups participated in this effort that was funded by the US National Institutes of Health through a variety of infrastructure grants. This effort transformed 3D Slicer from an internal, Boston-based, academic research software application into a professionally maintained, robust, open source platform with an international leadership and developer and user communities. Critical improvements to the widely used underlying open source libraries and tools-VTK, ITK, CMake, CDash, DCMTK-were an additional consequence of this effort. This project has contributed to close to a thousand peer-reviewed publications and a growing portfolio of US and international funded efforts expanding the use of these tools in new medical computing applications every year. In this editorial, we discuss what we believe are gaps in the way medical image computing is pursued today; how a well-executed research platform can enable discovery, innovation and reproducible science ("Open Science"); and how our quest to build such a software platform has evolved into a productive and rewarding social engineering exercise in building an open-access community with a shared vision.
PURPOSE: In this paper, the authors propose a novel efficient method to segment ultrasound images of the prostate with weak boundaries. Segmentation of the prostate from ultrasound images with weak boundaries widely exists in clinical applications. One of the most typical examples is the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer. Accurate segmentation of the prostate boundaries from ultrasound images plays an important role in many prostate-related applications such as the accurate placement of the biopsy needles, the assignment of the appropriate therapy in cancer treatment, and the measurement of the prostate volume. METHODS: Ultrasound images of the prostate are usually corrupted with intensity inhomogeneities, weak boundaries, and unwanted edges, which make the segmentation of the prostate an inherently difficult task. Regarding to these difficulties, the authors introduce an active band term and an edge descriptor term in the modified level set energy functional. The active band term is to deal with intensity inhomogeneities and the edge descriptor term is to capture the weak boundaries or to rule out unwanted boundaries. The level set function of the proposed model is updated in a band region around the zero level set which the authors call it an active band. The active band restricts the authors' method to utilize the local image information in a banded region around the prostate contour. Compared to traditional level set methods, the average intensities inside∖outside the zero level set are only computed in this banded region. Thus, only pixels in the active band have influence on the evolution of the level set. For weak boundaries, they are hard to be distinguished by human eyes, but in local patches in the band region around prostate boundaries, they are easier to be detected. The authors incorporate an edge descriptor to calculate the total intensity variation in a local patch paralleled to the normal direction of the zero level set, which can detect weak boundaries and avoid unwanted edges in the ultrasound images. RESULTS: The efficiency of the proposed model is demonstrated by experiments on real 3D volume images and 2D ultrasound images and comparisons with other approaches. Validation results on real 3D TRUS prostate images show that the authors' model can obtain a Dice similarity coefficient (DSC) of 94.03% ± 1.50% and a sensitivity of 93.16% ± 2.30%. Experiments on 100 typical 2D ultrasound images show that the authors' method can obtain a sensitivity of 94.87% ± 1.85% and a DSC of 95.82% ± 2.23%. A reproducibility experiment is done to evaluate the robustness of the proposed model. CONCLUSIONS: As far as the authors know, prostate segmentation from ultrasound images with weak boundaries and unwanted edges is a difficult task. A novel method using level sets with active band and the intensity variation across edges is proposed in this paper. Extensive experimental results demonstrate that the proposed method is more efficient and accurate.
OBJECTIVE: Endoscopic skull base surgery has become increasingly popular among the skull base surgery community, with improved illumination and angled visualization potentially improving tumor resection rates. Intraoperative MRI (iMRI) is used to detect residual disease during the course of the resection. This study is an investigation of the utility of 3-T iMRI in combination with transnasal endoscopy with regard to gross-total resection (GTR) of pituitary macroadenomas. METHODS: The authors retrospectively reviewed all endoscopic transsphenoidal operations performed in the Advanced Multimodality Image Guided Operating (AMIGO) suite from November 2011 to December 2014. Inclusion criteria were patients harboring presumed pituitary macroadenomas with optic nerve or chiasmal compression and visual loss, operated on by a single surgeon. RESULTS: Of the 27 patients who underwent transsphenoidal resection in the AMIGO suite, 20 patients met the inclusion criteria. The endoscope alone, without the use of iMRI, would have correctly predicted extent of resection in 13 (65%) of 20 cases. Gross-total resection was achieved in 12 patients (60%) prior to MRI. Intraoperative MRI helped convert 1 STR and 4 NTRs to GTRs, increasing the number of GTRs from 12 (60%) to 16 (80%). CONCLUSIONS: Despite advances in visualization provided by the endoscope, the incidence of residual disease can potentially place the patient at risk for additional surgery. The authors found that iMRI can be useful in detecting unexpected residual tumor. The cost-effectiveness of this tool is yet to be determined.
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this article is to report the translational process of an implantable microdevice platform with an emphasis on the technical and engineering adaptations for patient use, regulatory advances, and successful integration into clinical workflow. METHODS: We developed design adaptations for implantation and retrieval, established ongoing monitoring and testing, and facilitated regulatory advances that enabled the administration and examination of a large set of cancer therapies simultaneously in individual patients. RESULTS: Six applications for oncology studies have successfully proceeded to patient trials, with future applications in progress. CONCLUSION: First-in-human translation required engineering design changes to enable implantation and retrieval that fit with existing clinical workflows, a regulatory strategy that enabled both delivery and response measurement of up to 20 agents in a single patient, and establishment of novel testing and quality control processes for a drug/device combination product without clear precedents. SIGNIFICANCE: This manuscript provides a real-world account and roadmap on how to advance from animal proof-of-concept into the clinic, confronting the question of how to use research to benefit patients.
Optimal resection of breast tumors requires removing cancer with a rim of normal tissue while preserving uninvolved regions of the breast. Surgical and pathological techniques that permit rapid molecular characterization of tissue could facilitate such resections. Mass spectrometry (MS) is increasingly used in the research setting to detect and classify tumors and has the potential to detect cancer at surgical margins. Here, we describe the ex vivo intraoperative clinical application of MS using a liquid micro-junction surface sample probe (LMJ-SSP) to assess breast cancer margins. In a midpoint analysis of a registered clinical trial, surgical specimens from 21 women with treatment naïve invasive breast cancer were prospectively collected and analyzed at the time of surgery with subsequent histopathological determination. Normal and tumor breast specimens from the lumpectomy resected by the surgeon were smeared onto glass slides for rapid analysis. Lipidomic profiles were acquired from these specimens using LMJ-SSP MS in negative ionization mode within the operating suite and post-surgery analysis of the data revealed five candidate ions separating tumor from healthy tissue in this limited dataset. More data is required before considering the ions as candidate markers. Here, we present an application of ambient MS within the operating room to analyze breast cancer tissue and surgical margins. Lessons learned from these initial promising studies are being used to further evaluate the five candidate biomarkers and to further refine and optimize intraoperative MS as a tool for surgical guidance in breast cancer.
Introduction: Neuronavigation greatly improves the surgeons ability to approach, assess and operate on brain tumors, but tends to lose its accuracy as the surgery progresses and substantial brain shift and deformation occurs. Intraoperative MRI (iMRI) can partially address this problem but is resource intensive and workflow disruptive. Intraoperative ultrasound (iUS) provides real-time information that can be used to update neuronavigation and provide real-time information regarding the resection progress. We describe the intraoperative use of 3D iUS in relation to iMRI, and discuss the challenges and opportunities in its use in neurosurgical practice. Methods: We performed a retrospective evaluation of patients who underwent image-guided brain tumor resection in which both 3D iUS and iMRI were used. The study was conducted between June 2020 and December 2020 when an extension of a commercially available navigation software was introduced in our practice enabling 3D iUS volumes to be reconstructed from tracked 2D iUS images. For each patient, three or more 3D iUS images were acquired during the procedure, and one iMRI was acquired towards the end. The iUS images included an extradural ultrasound sweep acquired before dural incision (iUS-1), a post-dural opening iUS (iUS-2), and a third iUS acquired immediately before the iMRI acquisition (iUS-3). iUS-1 and preoperative MRI were compared to evaluate the ability of iUS to visualize tumor boundaries and critical anatomic landmarks; iUS-3 and iMRI were compared to evaluate the ability of iUS for predicting residual tumor. Results: Twenty-three patients were included in this study. Fifteen patients had tumors located in eloquent or near eloquent brain regions, the majority of patients had low grade gliomas (11), gross total resection was achieved in 12 patients, postoperative temporary deficits were observed in five patients. In twenty-two iUS was able to define tumor location, tumor margins, and was able to indicate relevant landmarks for orientation and guidance. In sixteen cases, white matter fiber tracts computed from preoperative dMRI were overlaid on the iUS images. In nineteen patients, the EOR (GTR or STR) was predicted by iUS and confirmed by iMRI. The remaining four patients where iUS was not able to evaluate the presence or absence of residual tumor were recurrent cases with a previous surgical cavity that hindered good contact between the US probe and the brainsurface. Conclusion: This recent experience at our institution illustrates the practical benefits, challenges, and opportunities of 3D iUS in relation to iMRI.
OBJECTIVE: Accurate biopsy sampling of the suspected lesions is critical for the diagnosis and clinical management of prostate cancer. Transperineal in-bore MRI-guided prostate biopsy (tpMRgBx) is a targeted biopsy technique that was shown to be safe, efficient, and accurate. Our goal was to develop an open source software platform to support evaluation, refinement, and translation of this biopsy approach. METHODS: We developed SliceTracker, a 3D Slicer extension to support tpMRgBx. We followed modular design of the implementation to enable customization of the interface and interchange of image segmentation and registration components to assess their effect on the processing time, precision, and accuracy of the biopsy needle placement. The platform and supporting documentation were developed to enable the use of software by an operator with minimal technical training to facilitate translation. Retrospective evaluation studied registration accuracy, effect of the prostate segmentation approach, and re-identification time of biopsy targets. Prospective evaluation focused on the total procedure time and biopsy targeting error (BTE). RESULTS: Evaluation utilized data from 73 retrospective and ten prospective tpMRgBx cases. Mean landmark registration error for retrospective evaluation was 1.88 ± 2.63 mm, and was not sensitive to the approach used for prostate gland segmentation. Prospectively, we observed target re-identification time of 4.60 ± 2.40 min and BTE of 2.40 ± 0.98 mm. CONCLUSION: SliceTracker is modular and extensible open source platform for supporting image processing aspects of the tpMRgBx procedure. It has been successfully utilized to support clinical research procedures at our site.
Patient-mounted needle guide devices for percutaneous ablation are vulnerable to patient motion. The objective of this study is to develop and evaluate a software system for an MRI-compatible patient-mounted needle guide device that can adaptively compensate for displacement of the device due to patient motion using a novel image-based automatic device-to-image registration technique. We have developed a software system for an MRI-compatible patient-mounted needle guide device for percutaneous ablation. It features fully-automated image-based device-to-image registration to track the device position, and a device controller to adjust the needle trajectory to compensate for the displacement of the device. We performed: (a) a phantom study using a clinical MR scanner to evaluate registration performance; (b) simulations using intraoperative time-series MR data acquired in 20 clinical cases of MRI-guided renal cryoablations to assess its impact on motion compensation; and (c) a pilot clinical study in three patients to test its feasibility during the clinical procedure. FRE, TRE, and success rate of device-to-image registration were [Formula: see text] mm, [Formula: see text] mm, and 98.3% for the phantom images. The simulation study showed that the motion compensation reduced the targeting error for needle placement from 8.2 mm to 5.4 mm (p < 0.0005) in patients under general anesthesia (GA), and from 14.4 mm to 10.0 mm ([Formula: see text]) in patients under monitored anesthesia care (MAC). The pilot study showed that the software registered the device successfully in a clinical setting. Our simulation study demonstrated that the software system could significantly improve targeting accuracy in patients treated under both MAC and GA. Intraprocedural image-based device-to-image registration was feasible.