Navigation of endoscopic ultrasound (EUS)-guided procedures of the upper gastrointestinal (GI) system can be technically challenging due to the small fields-of-view of ultrasound and optical devices, as well as the anatomical variability and limited number of orienting landmarks during navigation. Co-registration of an EUS device and a pre-procedure 3D image can enhance the ability to navigate. However, the fidelity of this contextual information depends on the accuracy of registration. The purpose of this study was to develop and test the feasibility of a simulation-based planning method for pre-selecting patient-specific EUS-visible anatomical landmark locations to maximise the accuracy and robustness of a feature-based multimodality registration method.
A registration approach was adopted in which landmarks are registered to anatomical structures segmented from the pre-procedure volume. The predicted target registration errors (TREs) of EUS-CT registration were estimated using simulated visible anatomical landmarks and a Monte Carlo simulation of landmark localisation error. The optimal planes were selected based on the 90th percentile of TREs, which provide a robust and more accurate EUS-CT registration initialisation. The method was evaluated by comparing the accuracy and robustness of registrations initialised using optimised planes versus non-optimised planes using manually segmented CT images and simulated (n=9) or retrospective clinical (n=1) EUS landmarks.
The results show a lower 90th percentile TRE when registration is initialised using the optimised planes compared with a non-optimised initialisation approach (p value <0.01).
The proposed simulation-based method to find optimised EUS planes and landmarks for EUS-guided procedures may have the potential to improve registration accuracy. Further work will investigate applying the technique in a clinical setting.