Realistic C-arm to pCT registration for vertebral localization in spine surgery: A hybrid 3D-2D registration framework for intraoperative vertebral pose estimation

Roshan Ramakrishna Naik, H Anitha H, Shyamasunder N. Bhat, Nishanth Ampar, Raghuraj Kundangar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Abstract: Spine surgeries are vulnerable to wrong-level surgeries and postoperative complications because of their complex structure. Unavailability of the 3D intraoperative imaging device, low-contrast intraoperative X-ray images, variable clinical and patient conditions, manual analyses, lack of skilled technicians, and human errors increase the chances of wrong-site or wrong-level surgeries. State of the art work refers 3D-2D image registration systems and other medical image processing techniques to address the complications associated with spine surgeries. Intensity-based 3D-2D image registration systems had been widely practiced across various clinical applications. However, these frameworks are limited to specific clinical conditions such as anatomy, dimension of image correspondence, and imaging modalities. Moreover, there are certain prerequisites for these frameworks to function in clinical application, such as dataset requirement, speed of computation, requirement of high-end system configuration, limited capture range, and multiple local maxima. A simple and effective registration framework was designed with a study objective of vertebral level identification and its pose estimation from intraoperative fluoroscopic images by combining intensity-based and iterative control point (ICP)–based 3D-2D registration. A hierarchical multi-stage registration framework was designed that comprises coarse and finer registration. The coarse registration was performed in two stages, i.e., intensity similarity-based spatial localization and source-to-detector localization based on the intervertebral distance correspondence between vertebral centroids in projected and intraoperative X-ray images. Finally, to speed up target localization in the intraoperative application, based on 3D-2D vertebral centroid correspondence, a rigid ICP-based finer registration was performed. The mean projection distance error (mPDE) measurement and visual similarity between projection image at finer registration point and intraoperative X-ray image and surgeons’ feedback were held accountable for the quality assurance of the designed registration framework. The average mPDE after peak signal to noise ratio (PSNR)–based coarse registration was 20.41mm. After the coarse registration in spatial region and source to detector direction, the average mPDE reduced to 12.18mm. On finer ICP-based registration, the mean mPDE was finally reduced to 0.36 mm. The approximate mean time required for the coarse registration, finer registration, and DRR image generation at the final registration point were 10 s, 15 s, and 1.5 min, respectively. The designed registration framework can act as a supporting tool for vertebral level localization and its pose estimation in an intraoperative environment. The framework was designed with the future perspective of intraoperative target localization and its pose estimation irrespective of the target anatomy. Graphical abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.].

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2271-2289
Number of pages19
JournalMedical and Biological Engineering and Computing
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 08-2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications


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