Semiautomatic nonrigid registration for the prostate and pelvic MR volumes

Baowei Fei, Jeffrey L. Duerk, D. Bruce Sodee, David L. Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Rationale and Objectives. Three-dimensional (3D) nonrigid image registration for potential applications in prostate cancer treatment and interventional magnetic resonance (iMRI) imaging-guided therapies were investigated. Materials and Methods. An almost fully automated 3D nonrigid registration algorithm using mutual information and a thin plate spline (TPS) transformation for MR images of the prostate and pelvis were created and evaluated. In the first step, an automatic rigid body registration with special features was used to capture the global transformation. In the second step, local feature points (FPs) were registered using mutual information. An operator entered only five FPs located at the prostate center, left and right hip joints, and left and right distal femurs. The program automatically determined and optimized other FPs at the external pelvic skin surface and along the femurs. More than 600 control points were used to establish a TPS transformation for deformation of the pelvic region and prostate. Ten volume pairs were acquired from three volunteers in the diagnostic (supine) and treatment positions (supine with legs raised). Results. Various visualization techniques showed that warping rectified the significant pelvic misalignment by the rigid-body method. Gray-value measures of registration quality, including mutual information, correlation coefficient, and intensity difference, all improved with warping. The distance between prostate 3D centroids was 0.7 ± 0.2 mm after warping compared with 4.9 ± 3.4 mm with rigid-body registration. Conclusion. Semiautomatic nonrigid registration works better than rigid-body registration when patient position is changed greatly between acquisitions. It could be a useful tool for many applications in the management of prostate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)815-824
Number of pages10
JournalAcademic radiology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Automatic nonrigid image registration
  • Interventional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Mutual information (MI)
  • Prostate cancer
  • Thin plate spline (TPS)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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