Chair for Computer Aided Medical Procedures & Augmented Reality
Lehrstuhl für Informatikanwendungen in der Medizin & Augmented Reality

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O. Zettinig, B. Frisch, S. Virga, M. Esposito, A. Rienmüller, B. Meyer, C. Hennersperger, Y.-M. Ryang , N. Navab
3D Ultrasound Registration-based Visual Servoing for Neurosurgical Navigation
International Journal of Computer Assisted Radiology and Surgery, Volume 12, Issue 9, pp 1607–1619, 2017.
The original publication is available online at

We present a fully image-based visual servoing framework for neurosurgical navigation and needle guidance. The proposed servo-control scheme allows for compensation of target anatomy movements, maintaining high navigational accuracy over time, and automatic needle guide alignment for accurate manual insertions. Method: Our system comprises a motorized 3D ultrasound (US) transducer mounted on a robotic arm and equipped with a needle guide. It continuously registers US sweeps in real-time with a pre-interventional plan based on CT or MR images and annotations. While a visual control law maintains anatomy visibility and alignment of the needle guide, a force controller is employed for acoustic coupling and tissue pressure. We validate the servoing capabilities of our method on a geometric gel phantom and real human anatomy, and the needle targeting accuracy using CT images on a lumbar spine gel phantom under neurosurgery conditions. Results: Despite the varying resolution of the acquired 3D sweeps, we achieved direction-independent positioning errors of 0.35+/-0.19mm and 0.61+/-0.45deg, respectively. Our method is capable of compensating movements of around 25mm/s and works reliably on human anatomy with errors of 1.45+/-0.78mm. In all four manual insertions by an expert surgeon, a needle could be successfully inserted into the facet joint, with an estimated targeting accuracy of 1.33+/-0.33mm, superior to the gold standard. Conclusion: The experiments demonstrated the feasibility of robotic ultrasound-based navigation and needle guidance for neurosurgical applications such as lumbar spine injections.
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