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Bronchoscopy |

Three-dimensional CT-Guided Bronchoscopy With a Real-Time Electromagnetic Position Sensor*: A Comparison of Two Image Registration Methods

Stephen B. Solomon, MD; Peter White Jr., MD; Charles M. Wiener, MD, FCCP; Jonathan B. Orens, MD; Ko Pen Wang, MD
Author and Funding Information

*From the Departments of Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiology (Dr. Solomon) and Pulmonary Medicine (Drs. White, Wiener, Orens, and Wang), Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD.

Correspondence to: Stephen Solomon, MD, Department of Radiology, Blalock 545, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, 600 N Wolfe St, Baltimore, MD 21287; e-mail: ssolomo@jhmi.edu



Chest. 2000;118(6):1783-1787. doi:10.1378/chest.118.6.1783
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Study objectives: To compare two different image registration methods for accurately displaying the position of a flexible bronchoscope on a previously acquired three-dimensional CT scan during bronchoscopy.

Setting: Bronchoscopy suite of a university hospital.

Patients: Fifteen adult patients scheduled for nonemergent bronchoscopy.

Methods: A miniature electromagnetic position sensor was placed at the tip of a flexible bronchoscope. Previously acquired three-dimensional CT scans were registered with the patient in the bronchoscopy suite. Registration method 1 used multiple skin fiducial markers. Registration method 2 used the inner surface of the trachea itself for registration. Method 1 was objectively assessed by measuring the error distance between the real skin marker position and the computer display position. Methods 1 and 2 were subjectively assessed by the bronchoscopist correlating visual bronchoscopic anatomic location with the computer display position on the CT image.

Results: The error distance (± SD) from known points for registration method 1 was 5.6 ± 2.7 mm. Objective error distances were not measured for method 2 because no accurate placement of the bronchoscope sensor could be correlated with CT position. Subjectively, method 2 was judged more accurate than method 1 when compared with the fiberoptic view of the airways through the bronchoscope. Additionally, method 2 had the advantage of not requiring placement of fiducial markers before the CT scan. Respiratory motion contributed an error of 3.6 ± 2.6 mm, which was partially compensated for by a second tracking sensor placed on the patient’s chest.

Conclusion: Image registration method 2 of surface fitting the trachea rather than method 1 of fiducial markers was subjectively judged to be superior for registering the position of a flexible bronchoscope during bronchoscopy. Method 2 was also more practical inasmuch as no special CT scanning technique was required before bronchoscopy.

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