Slice-to-volume registration and its potential application to interventional MRI-guided radio-frequency thermal ablation of prostate cancer

Baowei Fei, Jeffrey L. Duerk, Daniel T. Boll, Jonathan S. Lewin, David L. Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

90 Scopus citations


In this study, we registered live-time interventional magnetic resonance imaging (iMRI) slices with a previously obtained high-resolution MRI volume that in turn can be registered with a variety of functional images, e.g., PET, SPECT, for tumor targeting. We created and evaluated a slice-to-volume (SV) registration algorithm with special features for its potential use in iMRI-guided radio-frequency (RF) thermal ablation of prostate cancer. The algorithm features included a multiresolution approach, two similarity measures, and automatic restarting to avoid local minima. Imaging experiments were performed on volunteers using a conventional 1.5-T MR scanner and a clinical 0.2-T C-arm iMRI system under realistic conditions. Both high-resolution MR volumes and actual iMRI image slices were acquired from the same volunteers. Actual and simulated iMRI images were used to test the dependence of SV registration on image noise, receive coil inhomogeneity, and RF needle artifacts. To quantitatively assess registration, we calculated the mean voxel displacement over a volume of interest between SV registration and volume-to-volume registration, which was previously shown to be quite accurate. More than 800 registration experiments were performed. For transverse image slices covering the prostate, the SV registration algorithm was 100% successful with an error of <2 mm, and the average and standard deviation was only 0.4 mm ± 0.2 mm. Visualizations such as combined sector display and contour overlay showed excellent registration of the prostate and other organs throughout the pelvis. Error was greater when an image slice was obtained at other orientations and positions, mostly because of inconsistent image content such as that from variable rectal and bladder filling. These preliminary experiments indicate that MR SV registration is sufficient accurate to aid image-guided therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)515-525
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Image registration
  • Interventional magnetic resonance imaging (iMRI)
  • Minimally invasive treatment
  • Mutual information
  • Prostate cancer
  • Thermal ablation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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