Publications

2010
Yuan J, Zhao T-C, Tang Y, Panych LP. Reduced field-of-view single-shot fast spin echo imaging using two-dimensional spatially selective radiofrequency pulses. J Magn Reson Imaging. 2010;32 (1) :242-8.Abstract
PURPOSE: To demonstrate reduced field-of-view (RFOV) single-shot fast spin echo (SS-FSE) imaging based on the use of two-dimensional spatially selective radiofrequency (2DRF) pulses. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The 2DRF pulses were incorporated into an SS-FSE sequence for RFOV imaging in both phantoms and the human brain on a 1.5 Tesla (T) whole-body MR system with the aim of demonstrating improvements in terms of shorter scan time, reduced blurring, and higher spatial resolution compared with full FOV imaging. RESULTS: For phantom studies, scan time gains of up to 4.2-fold were achieved as compared to the full FOV imaging. For human studies, the spatial resolution was increased by a factor of 2.5 (from 1.7 mm/pixel to 0.69 mm/pixel) for RFOV imaging within a scan time (0.7 s) similar to full FOV imaging. A 2.2-fold shorter scan time along with a significant reduction of blurring was demonstrated in RFOV images compared with full FOV images for a target spatial resolution of 0.69 mm/pixel. CONCLUSION: RFOV SS-FSE imaging using a 2DRF pulse shows advantages in scan time, blurring, and specific absorption rate reduction along with true spatial resolution increase compared with full FOV imaging. This approach is promising to benefit fast imaging applications such as image guided therapy.
Yuan J, Madore B, Panych LP. Spatially varying fat-water excitation using short 2DRF pulses. Magn Reson Med. 2010;63 (4) :1092-7.Abstract
Conventional spatial-spectral radiofrequency pulses excite the water or the fat spins in a whole slice or slab. While such pulses prove useful in a number of applications, their applicability is severely limited in sequences with short pulse repetition time due to the relatively long duration of the pulses. In the present work, we demonstrate that, by manipulating the parameters of a two-dimensional spartially-selective (2DRF) pulse designed to excite a two-dimensional spatial profile, the chemical-shift sensitivity of the pulse can be exploited to obtain potentially useful spatially varying fat-water excitation patterns.
O'Donnell LJ, Westin C-F, Norton I, Whalen S, Rigolo L, Propper R, Golby AJ. The fiber laterality histogram: a new way to measure white matter asymmetry. Med Image Comput Comput Assist Interv. 2010;13 (Pt 2) :225-32.Abstract
The quantification of brain asymmetries may provide biomarkers for presurgical localization of language function and can improve our understanding of neural structure-function relationships in health and disease. We propose a new method for studying the asymmetry of the white matter tracts in the entire brain, and we apply it to a preliminary study of normal subjects across the handedness spectrum. Methods for quantifying white matter asymmetry using diffusion MRI tractography have thus far been based on comparing numbers of fibers or volumes of a single fiber tract across hemispheres. We propose a generalization of such methods, where the "number of fibers" laterality measurement is extended to the entire brain using a soft fiber comparison metric. We summarize the distribution of fiber laterality indices over the whole brain in a histogram, and we measure properties of the distribution such as its skewness, median, and inter-quartile range. The whole-brain fiber laterality histogram can be measured in an exploratory fashion without hypothesizing asymmetries only in particular structures. We demonstrate an overall difference in white matter asymmetry in consistent- and inconsistent-handers: the skewness of the fiber laterality histogram is significantly different across handedness groups.
Savadjiev P, Rathi Y, Malcolm JG, Shenton ME, Westin C-F. A geometry-based particle filtering approach to white matter tractography. Med Image Comput Comput Assist Interv. 2010;13 (Pt 2) :233-40.Abstract
We introduce a fibre tractography framework based on a particle filter which estimates a local geometrical model of the underlying white matter tract, formulated as a 'streamline flow' using generalized helicoids. The method is not dependent on the diffusion model, and is applicable to diffusion tensor (DT) data as well as to high angular resolution reconstructions. The geometrical model allows for a robust inference of local tract geometry, which, in the context of the causal filter estimation, guides tractography through regions with partial volume effects. We validate the method on synthetic data and present results on two types in vivo data: diffusion tensors and a spherical harmonic reconstruction of the fibre orientation distribution function (fODF).
Hoge SW, Tan H, Kraft RA. Robust EPI Nyquist ghost elimination via spatial and temporal encoding. Magn Reson Med. 2010;64 (6) :1781-91.Abstract
Nyquist ghosts are an inherent artifact in echo planar imaging acquisitions. An approach to robustly eliminate Nyquist ghosts is presented that integrates two previous Nyquist ghost correction techniques: temporal domain encoding (phase labeling for additional coordinate encoding: PLACE and spatial domain encoding (phased array ghost elimination: PAGE). Temporal encoding modulates the echo planar imaging acquisition trajectory from frame to frame, enabling one to interleave data to remove inconsistencies that occur between sampling on positive and negative gradient readouts. With PLACE, one can coherently combine the interleaved data to cancel residual Nyquist ghosts. If the level of ghosting varies significantly from image to image, however, the signal cancellation that occurs with PLACE can adversely affect SNR-sensitive applications such as perfusion imaging with arterial spin labeling. This work proposes integrating PLACE into a PAGE-based reconstruction process to yield significantly better Nyquist ghost correction that is more robust than PLACE or PAGE alone. The robustness of this method is demonstrated in the presence of magnetic field drift with an in-vivo arterial spin labeling perfusion experiment.
Maier SE, Sun Y, Mulkern RV. Diffusion imaging of brain tumors. NMR Biomed. 2010;23 (7) :849-64.Abstract
MRI offers a tremendous armamentarium of different methods that can be employed in brain tumor characterization. MR diffusion imaging has become a widely accepted method to probe for the presence of fluid pools and molecular tissue water mobility. For most clinical applications of diffusion imaging, it is assumed that the diffusion signal vs diffusion weighting factor b decays monoexponentially. Within this framework, the measurement of a single diffusion coefficient in brain tumors permits an approximate categorization of tumor type and, for some tumors, definitive diagnosis. In most brain tumors, when compared with normal brain tissue, the diffusion coefficient is elevated. The presence of peritumoral edema, which also exhibits an elevated diffusion coefficient, often precludes the delineation of the tumor on the basis of diffusion information alone. Serially obtained diffusion data are useful to document and even predict the cellular response to drug or radiation therapy. Diffusion measurements in tissues over an extended range of b factors have clearly shown that the monoparametric description of the MR diffusion signal decay is incomplete. Very high diffusion weighting on clinical systems requires substantial compromise in spatial resolution. However, after suitable analysis, superior separation of malignant brain tumors, peritumoral edema and normal brain tissue can be achieved. These findings are also discussed in the light of tissue-specific differences in membrane structure and the restrictions exerted by membranes on diffusion. Finally, measurement of the directional dependence of diffusion permits the assessment of white matter integrity and dislocation. Such information, particularly in conjunction with advanced post-processing, is considered to be immensely useful for therapy planning. Diffusion imaging, which permits monoexponential analysis and provides directional diffusion information, is performed routinely in brain tumor patients. More advanced methods require improvement in acquisition speed and spatial resolution to gain clinical acceptance.
Levitt JJ, Kubicki M, Nestor PG, Ersner-Hershfield H, Westin C-F, Alvarado JL, Kikinis R, Jolesz FA, McCarley RW, Shenton ME. A diffusion tensor imaging study of the anterior limb of the internal capsule in schizophrenia. Psychiatry Res. 2010;184 (3) :143-50.Abstract
Frontal-subcortical cognitive and limbic feedback loops modulate higher cognitive functioning. The final step in these feedback loops is the thalamo-cortical projection through the anterior limb of the internal capsule (AL-IC). Using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), we evaluated abnormalities in the AL-IC fiber tract in schizophrenia. Participants comprised 16 chronic schizophrenia patients and 19 male, normal controls, who were group matched for handedness, age, and parental socioeconomic status, and underwent DTI on a 1.5 Tesla GE system. We measured the diffusion indices, fractional anisotropy (FA), mean diffusivity (MD), radial diffusivity (RD), and axial diffusivity (AD), and manually segmented, based on FA maps, AL-IC volume, normalized for intracranial contents (ICC). The results showed a significant reduction in the ICC-corrected volume of the AL-IC in schizophrenia, but did not show diffusion measure group differences in the AL-IC in FA, MD, RD or AD. In addition, in the schizophrenia patients, AL-IC FA correlated positively with performance on measures of spatial and verbal declarative/episodic memory, and right AL-IC ICC-corrected volume correlated positively with more perseverative responses on the Wisconsin Card Sort Test (WCST). We found a reduction in AL-IC ICC-corrected volume in schizophrenia, without FA, MD, RD or AD group differences, implicating the presence of a structural abnormality in schizophrenia in this subcortical white matter region which contains important cognitive, and limbic feedback pathways that modulate prefrontal cortical function. Despite not demonstrating a group difference in FA, we found that AL-IC FA was a good predictor of spatial and verbal declarative/episodic memory performance in schizophrenia.
Mohan V, Sundaramoorthi G, Tannenbaum A. Tubular surface segmentation for extracting anatomical structures from medical imagery. IEEE Trans Med Imaging. 2010;29 (12) :1945-58.Abstract
This work provides a model for tubular structures, and devises an algorithm to automatically extract tubular anatomical structures from medical imagery. Our model fits many anatomical structures in medical imagery, in particular, various fiber bundles in the brain (imaged through diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance (DW-MRI)) such as the cingulum bundle, and blood vessel trees in computed tomography angiograms (CTAs). Extraction of the cingulum bundle is of interest because of possible ties to schizophrenia, and extracting blood vessels is helpful in the diagnosis of cardiovascular diseases. The tubular model we propose has advantages over many existing approaches in literature: fewer degrees-of-freedom over a general deformable surface hence energies defined on such tubes are less sensitive to undesirable local minima, and the tube (in 3-D) can be naturally represented by a 4-D curve (a radius function and centerline), which leads to computationally less costly algorithms and has the advantage that the centerline of the tube is obtained without additional effort. Our model also generalizes to tubular trees, and the extraction algorithm that we design automatically detects and evolves branches of the tree. We demonstrate the performance of our algorithm on 20 datasets of DW-MRI data and 32 datasets of CTA, and quantify the results of our algorithm when expert segmentations are available.
Bonmassar G, Iwaki S, Goldmakher G, Angelone LM, Belliveau JW, Lev MH. On the Measurement of Electrical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS) of the Human Head. Int J Bioelectromagn. 2010;12 (1) :32-46.Abstract
We are introducing a system for Electrical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS) measurements for future use in Neurological Intensive Care Unit (NICU) settings. The system consists mostly of commercially available components and the software was developed in Labview (National Instruments). The system is based on the principle that acute hemorrhagic stroke may produce detectable changes in the impedance spectrum measured on the subject's scalp due to parenchimal local increases of blood volume. EIS measurements were performed on four healthy control subjects to establish a baseline for a real time stroke detector. Measurements were performed using white noise currents in the 0-50 kHz frequency band using ten shielded electrodes placed on a subject's scalp, with electrical potentials measured with a large-dynamic range for increased EIS accuracy. EIS measurements yielded highly symmetrical impedance spectra, which was only obtainable using the proposed continuos spectral electrical impedance estimation.
Suarez RO, Golby AJ, Whalen S, Sato S, Theodore WH, Kufta CV, Devinsky O, Balish M, Bromfield EB. Contributions to singing ability by the posterior portion of the superior temporal gyrus of the non-language-dominant hemisphere: first evidence from subdural cortical stimulation, Wada testing, and fMRI. Cortex. 2010;46 (3) :343-53.Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Although the substrates that mediate singing abilities in the human brain are not well understood, invasive brain mapping techniques used for clinical decision making such as intracranial electro-cortical testing and Wada testing offer a rare opportunity to examine music-related function in a select group of subjects, affording exceptional spatial and temporal specificity. METHODS: We studied eight patients with medically refractory epilepsy undergoing indwelling subdural electrode seizure focus localization. All patients underwent Wada testing for language lateralization. Functional assessment of language and music tasks was done by electrode grid cortical stimulation. One patient was also tested non-invasively with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Functional organization of singing ability compared to language ability was determined based on four regions-of-interest (ROIs): left and right inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), and left and right posterior superior temporal gyrus (pSTG). RESULTS: In some subjects, electrical stimulation of dominant pSTG can interfere with speech and not singing, whereas stimulation of non-dominant pSTG area can interfere with singing and not speech. Stimulation of the dominant IFG tends to interfere with both musical and language expression, while non-dominant IFG stimulation was often observed to cause no interference with either task; and finally, that stimulation of areas adjacent to but not within non-dominant pSTG typically does not affect either ability. Functional fMRI mappings of one subject revealed similar music/language dissociation with respect to activation asymmetry within the ROIs. CONCLUSION: Despite inherent limitations with respect to strictly research objectives, invasive clinical techniques offer a rare opportunity to probe musical and language cognitive processes of the brain in a select group of patients.

Reinsberger C, Tanaka N, Cole AJ, Lee JW, Dworetzky BA, Bromfield EB, Hamiwka L, Bourgeois BF, Golby AJ, Madsen JR, et al. Current Dipole Orientation and Distribution of Epileptiform Activity Correlates with Cortical Thinning in Left Mesiotemporal Epilepsy. Neuroimage. 2010;52 (4) :1238-42.Abstract

To evaluate cortical architecture in mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (MTLE) with respect to electrophysiology, we analyze both magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and magnetoencephalography (MEG) in 19 patients with left MTLE. We divide the patients into two groups: 9 patients (Group A) have vertically oriented antero-medial equivalent current dipoles (ECDs). 10 patients (Group B) have ECDs that are diversely oriented and widely distributed. Group analysis of MRI data shows widespread cortical thinning in Group B compared with Group A, in the left hemisphere involving the cingulate, supramarginal, occipitotemporal and parahippocampal gyri, precuneus and parietal lobule, and in the right hemisphere involving the fronto-medial, -central and -basal gyri and the precuneus. These results suggest that regardless of the presence of hippocampal sclerosis, in a subgroup of patients with MTLE a large cortical network is affected. This finding may, in part, explain the unfavorable outcome in some MTLE patients after epilepsy surgery.

Sundaram P, Wells III WM, Mulkern RV, Bubrick EJ, Bromfield EB, Münch M, Orbach DB. Fast human brain magnetic resonance responses associated with epileptiform spikes. Magn Reson Med. 2010;64 (6) :1728-38.Abstract

Neuronal currents produce local electromagnetic fields that can potentially modulate the phase of the magnetic resonance signal and thus provide a contrast mechanism tightly linked to neuronal activity. Previous work has demonstrated the feasibility of direct MRI of neuronal activity in phantoms and cell culture, but in vivo efforts have yielded inconclusive, conflicting results. The likelihood of detecting and validating such signals can be increased with (i) fast gradient-echo echo-planar imaging, with acquisition rates sufficient to resolve neuronal activity, (ii) subjects with epilepsy, who frequently experience stereotypical electromagnetic discharges between seizures, expressed as brief, localized, high-amplitude spikes (interictal discharges), and (iii) concurrent electroencephalography. This work demonstrates that both MR magnitude and phase show large-amplitude changes concurrent with electroencephalography spikes. We found a temporal derivative relationship between MR phase and scalp electroencephalography, suggesting that the MR phase changes may be tightly linked to local cerebral activity. We refer to this manner of MR acquisition, designed explicitly to track the electroencephalography, as encephalographic MRI (eMRI). Potential extension of this technique into a general purpose functional neuroimaging tool requires further study of the MR signal changes accompanying lower amplitude neuronal activity than those discussed here.

Ababneh R, Yuan J, Madore B. Fat-water Separation in Dynamic Objects using an UNFOLD-like Temporal Processing. J Magn Reson Imaging. 2010;32 (4) :962-70.Abstract

PURPOSE: To separate fat and water signals in dynamic imaging. Because important features may be embedded in fat, and because fat may take part in disease processes, separating fat and water signals may be of great importance in a number of clinical applications. This work aims to achieve such separation at nearly no loss in temporal resolution compared to usual, nonseparated acquisitions. In contrast, the well-known 3-point Dixon method may cause as much as a 3-fold reduction in temporal resolution. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The proposed approach involves modulating the echo time TE from frame to frame, to force fat signals to behave in a conspicuous manner through time, so they can be readily identified and separated from water signals. The strategy is inspired from the "unaliasing by Fourier encoding the overlaps in the temporal direction" (UNFOLD) method, although UNFOLD involves changes in the sampling function rather than TE, and aims at suppressing aliased material rather than fat. RESULTS: The method was implemented at 1.5 T and 3 T, on cardiac cine and multiframe steady-state free precession sequences. In addition to phantom results, in vivo results from volunteers are presented. CONCLUSION: Good separation of fat and water signals was achieved in all cases.

Kikinis Z, Fallon JH, Niznikiewicz M, Nestor P, Davidson C, Bobrow L, Pelavin PE, Fischl B, Yendiki A, McCarley RW, et al. Gray Matter Volume Reduction in Rostral Middle Frontal Gyrus in Patients with Chronic Schizophrenia. Schizophr Res. 2010;123 (2-3) :153-9.Abstract

The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) is a brain region that has figured prominently in studies of schizophrenia and working memory, yet the exact neuroanatomical localization of this brain region remains to be defined. DLPFC primarily involves the superior frontal gyrus and middle frontal gyrus (MFG). The latter, however is not a single neuroanatomical entity but instead is comprised of rostral (anterior, middle, and posterior) and caudal regions. In this study we used structural MRI to develop a method for parcellating MFG into its component parts. We focused on this region of DLPFC because it includes BA46, a region involved in working memory. We evaluated volume differences in MFG in 20 patients with chronic schizophrenia and 20 healthy controls. Mid-rostral MFG (MR-MFG) was delineated within the rostral MFG using anterior and posterior neuroanatomical landmarks derived from cytoarchitectonic definitions of BA46. Gray matter volumes of MR-MFG were then compared between groups, and a significant reduction in gray matter volume was observed (p<0.008), but not in other areas of MFG (i.e., anterior or posterior rostral MFG, or caudal regions of MFG). Our results demonstrate that volumetric alterations in MFG gray matter are localized exclusively to MR-MFG. 3D reconstructions of the cortical surface made it possible to follow MFG into its anterior part, where other approaches have failed. This method of parcellation offers a more precise way of measuring MR-MFG that will likely be important in further documentation of DLPFC anomalies in schizophrenia.

Morishige K, Kacher DF, Libby P, Josephson L, Ganz P, Weissleder R, Aikawa M. High-Resolution Magnetic Resonance Imaging Enhanced with Superparamagnetic Nanoparticles Measures Macrophage Burden in Atherosclerosis. Circulation. 2010;122 (17) :1707-15.Abstract

BACKGROUND: Macrophages contribute to the progression and acute complications of atherosclerosis. Macrophage imaging may serve as a biomarker to identify subclinical inflamed lesions, to predict future risk, and to aid in the assessment of novel therapies. METHODS AND RESULTS: To test the hypothesis that nanoparticle-enhanced, high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can measure plaque macrophage accumulation, we used 3-T MRI with a macrophage-targeted superparamagnetic nanoparticle preparation (monocrystalline iron oxide nanoparticles-47 [MION-47]) in cholesterol-fed New Zealand White rabbits 6 months after balloon injury. In vivo MRI visualized thickened abdominal aortas on both T1- and T2-weighted spin-echo images (T1 spin echo, 20 axial slices per animal; T2 spin echo, 28 slices per animal). Seventy-two hours after MION-47 injection, aortas exhibited lower T2 signal intensity compared with before contrast imaging (signal intensity ratio, aortic wall/muscle: before, 1.44 ± 0.26 versus after, 0.95 ± 0.22; 164 slices; P<0.01), whereas T1 spin echo images showed no significant change. MRI on ex vivo specimens provided similar results. Histological studies colocalized iron accumulation with immunoreactive macrophages in atheromata. The magnitude of signal intensity reduction on T2 spin echo in vivo images further correlated with macrophage areas in situ (150 slices; r=0.73). Treatment with rosuvastatin for 3 months yielded diminished macrophage content (P<0.05) and reversed T2 signal intensity changes (P<0.005). Signal changes in rosuvastatin-treated rabbits correlated with reduced macrophage burden (r=0.73). In vitro validation studies showed concentration-dependent MION-47 uptake by human primary macrophages. CONCLUSION: The magnitude of T2 signal intensity reduction in high-resolution MRI after administration of superparamagnetic phagocytosable nanoparticles can assess macrophage burden in atheromata, providing a clinically translatable tool to identify inflamed plaques and to monitor therapy-mediated changes in plaque inflammation.

Lee JW, Wen PY, Hurwitz S, Black PM, Kesari S, Drappatz J, Golby AJ, Wells III WM, Warfield SK, Kikinis R, et al. Morphological characteristics of brain tumors causing seizures. Arch Neurol. 2010;67 (3) :336-42.Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To quantify size and localization differences between tumors presenting with seizures vs nonseizure neurological symptoms. DESIGN: Retrospective imaging survey. We performed magnetic resonance imaging-based morphometric analysis and nonparametric mapping in patients with brain tumors. SETTING: University-affiliated teaching hospital. PATIENTS OR OTHER PARTICIPANTS: One hundred twenty-four patients with newly diagnosed supratentorial glial tumors. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Volumetric and mapping methods were used to evaluate differences in size and location of the tumors in patients who presented with seizures as compared with patients who presented with other symptoms. RESULTS: In high-grade gliomas, tumors presenting with seizures were smaller than tumors presenting with other neurological symptoms, whereas in low-grade gliomas, tumors presenting with seizures were larger. Tumor location maps revealed that in high-grade gliomas, deep-seated tumors in the pericallosal regions were more likely to present with nonseizure neurological symptoms. In low-grade gliomas, tumors of the temporal lobe as well as the insular region were more likely to present with seizures. CONCLUSIONS: The influence of size and location of the tumors on their propensity to cause seizures varies with the grade of the tumor. In high-grade gliomas, rapidly growing tumors, particularly those situated in deeper structures, present with non-seizure-related symptoms. In low-grade gliomas, lesions in the temporal lobe or the insula grow large without other symptoms and eventually cause seizures. Quantitative image analysis allows for the mapping of regions in each group that are more or less susceptible to seizures.

Elhawary H, Oguro S, Tuncali K, Morrison PR, Tatli S, Shyn PB, Silverman SG, Hata N. Multimodality Non-rigid Image Registration for Planning, Targeting and Monitoring during CT-guided Percutaneous Liver Tumor Cryoablation. Acad Radiol. 2010;17 (11) :1334-44.Abstract

RATIONALE AND OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to develop non-rigid image registration between preprocedure contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance (MR) images and intraprocedure unenhanced computed tomographic (CT) images, to enhance tumor visualization and localization during CT imaging-guided liver tumor cryoablation procedures. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A non-rigid registration technique was evaluated with different preprocessing steps and algorithm parameters and compared to a standard rigid registration approach. The Dice similarity coefficient, target registration error, 95th-percentile Hausdorff distance, and total registration time (minutes) were compared using a two-sided Student's t test. The entire registration method was then applied during five CT imaging-guided liver cryoablation cases with the intraprocedural CT data transmitted directly from the CT scanner, with both accuracy and registration time evaluated. RESULTS: Selected optimal parameters for registration were a section thickness of 5 mm, cropping the field of view to 66% of its original size, manual segmentation of the liver, B-spline control grid of 5 × 5 × 5, and spatial sampling of 50,000 pixels. A mean 95th-percentile Hausdorff distance of 3.3 mm (a 2.5 times improvement compared to rigid registration, P < .05), a mean Dice similarity coefficient of 0.97 (a 13% increase), and a mean target registration error of 4.1 mm (a 2.7 times reduction) were measured. During the cryoablation procedure, registration between the preprocedure MR and the planning intraprocedure CT imaging took a mean time of 10.6 minutes, MR to targeting CT image took 4 minutes, and MR to monitoring CT imaging took 4.3 minutes. Mean registration accuracy was <3.4 mm. CONCLUSIONS: Non-rigid registration allowed improved visualization of the tumor during interventional planning, targeting, and evaluation of tumor coverage by the ice ball. Future work is focused on reducing segmentation time to make the method more clinically acceptable.

Arata J, Kozuka H, Kim HW, Takesue N, Vladimirov B, Sakaguchi M, Tokuda J, Hata N, Chinzei K, Fujimoto H. Open Core Control sSoftware for Surgical Robots. Int J Comput Assist Radiol Surg. 2010;5 (3) :211-20.Abstract

OBJECT: In these days, patients and doctors in operation room are surrounded by many medical devices as resulting from recent advancement of medical technology. However, these cutting-edge medical devices are working independently and not collaborating with each other, even though the collaborations between these devices such as navigation systems and medical imaging devices are becoming very important for accomplishing complex surgical tasks (such as a tumor removal procedure while checking the tumor location in neurosurgery). On the other hand, several surgical robots have been commercialized, and are becoming common. However, these surgical robots are not open for collaborations with external medical devices in these days. A cutting-edge "intelligent surgical robot" will be possible in collaborating with surgical robots, various kinds of sensors, navigation system and so on. On the other hand, most of the academic software developments for surgical robots are "home-made" in their research institutions and not open to the public. Therefore, open source control software for surgical robots can be beneficial in this field. From these perspectives, we developed Open Core Control software for surgical robots to overcome these challenges. MATERIALS AND METHODS: In general, control softwares have hardware dependencies based on actuators, sensors and various kinds of internal devices. Therefore, these control softwares cannot be used on different types of robots without modifications. However, the structure of the Open Core Control software can be reused for various types of robots by abstracting hardware dependent parts. In addition, network connectivity is crucial for collaboration between advanced medical devices. The OpenIGTLink is adopted in Interface class which plays a role to communicate with external medical devices. At the same time, it is essential to maintain the stable operation within the asynchronous data transactions through network. In the Open Core Control software, several techniques for this purpose were introduced. Virtual fixture is well known technique as a "force guide" for supporting operators to perform precise manipulation by using a master-slave robot. The virtual fixture for precise and safety surgery was implemented on the system to demonstrate an idea of high-level collaboration between a surgical robot and a navigation system. The extension of virtual fixture is not a part of the Open Core Control system, however, the function such as virtual fixture cannot be realized without a tight collaboration between cutting-edge medical devices. By using the virtual fixture, operators can pre-define an accessible area on the navigation system, and the area information can be transferred to the robot. In this manner, the surgical console generates the reflection force when the operator tries to get out from the pre-defined accessible area during surgery. RESULTS: The Open Core Control software was implemented on a surgical master-slave robot and stable operation was observed in a motion test. The tip of the surgical robot was displayed on a navigation system by connecting the surgical robot with a 3D position sensor through the OpenIGTLink. The accessible area was pre-defined before the operation, and the virtual fixture was displayed as a "force guide" on the surgical console. In addition, the system showed stable performance in a duration test with network disturbance. CONCLUSION: In this paper, a design of the Open Core Control software for surgical robots and the implementation of virtual fixture were described. The Open Core Control software was implemented on a surgical robot system and showed stable performance in high-level collaboration works. The Open Core Control software is developed to be a widely used platform of surgical robots. Safety issues are essential for control software of these complex medical devices. It is important to follow the global specifications such as a FDA requirement "General Principles of Software Validation" or IEC62304. For following these regulations, it is important to develop a self-test environment. Therefore, a test environment is now under development to test various interference in operation room such as a noise of electric knife by considering safety and test environment regulations such as ISO13849 and IEC60508. The Open Core Control software is currently being developed software in open-source manner and available on the Internet. A communization of software interface is becoming a major trend in this field. Based on this perspective, the Open Core Control software can be expected to bring contributions in this field.

Fernández-Esparrach G, San José Estépar R, Guarner-Argente C, Martínez-Pallí G, Navarro R, Rodríguez de Miguel C, Córdova H, Thompson CC, Lacy AM, Donoso L, et al. The role of a computed tomography-based image registered navigation system for natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery: a comparative study in a porcine model. Endoscopy. 2010;42 (12) :1096-103.Abstract

BACKGROUND AND STUDY AIMS: Most natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery (NOTES) procedures have been performed in animal models through the anterior stomach wall, but this approach does not provide efficient access to all anatomic areas of interest. Moreover, injury of the adjacent structures has been reported when using a blind access. The aim of the current study was to assess the utility of a CT-based (CT: computed tomography) image registered navigation system in identifying safe gastrointestinal access sites for NOTES and identifying intraperitoneal structures. METHODS: A total of 30 access procedures were performed in 30 pigs: anterior gastric wall (n = 10), posterior gastric wall (n = 10), and anterior rectal wall (n = 10). Of these, 15 procedures used image registered guidance (IR-NOTES) and 15 procedures used a blind access (NOTES only). Timed abdominal exploration was performed with identification of 11 organs. The location of the endoscopic tip was tracked using an electromagnetic tracking system and was recorded for each case. Necropsy was performed immediately after the procedure. The primary outcome was the rate of complications; secondary outcome variables were number of organs identified and kinematic measurements. RESULTS: A total of 30 animals weighting a mean (± SD) of 30.2 ± 6.8 kg were included in the study. The incision point was correctly placed in 11 out of 15 animals in each group (73.3 %). The mean peritoneoscopy time and the number of properly identified organs were equivalent in the two groups. There were eight minor complications (26.7 %), two (13.3 %) in the IR-NOTES group and six (40.0 %) in the NOTES only group ( P = n. s.). Characteristics of the endoscope tip path showed a statistically significant improvement in trajectory smoothness of motion for all organs in the IR-NOTES group. CONCLUSION: The image registered system appears to be feasible in NOTES procedures and results from this study suggest that image registered guidance might be useful for supporting navigation with an increased smoothness of motion.

Clement GT. Spatial Backward Planar Projection in Absorbing Media Possessing an Arbitrary Dispersion Relation. Acoust Sci Technol. 2010;31 (6) :379-386.Abstract

Planar projection methods have been shown to rapidly relate fields between two planes. Such an approach is particularly useful for characterizing transducers, since only a single plane needs to be measured in order to characterize an entire field. The present work considers the same approach in the presence of an arbitrary dispersion relation. Unlike traditional methods that use Fourier solutions of the time-domain wave equation, the approach starts from a frequency-domain Helmholtz equation for waves in a dispersive medium. It is shown that a transfer function similar to that derived from time domain equations can be utilized. Both the forward- and backward-projection behaviors are examined and it is demonstrated that the approach is invariant to propagation direction.

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