Automatic transperineal ultrasound probe positioning based on CT scan for image guided radiotherapy

TitleAutomatic transperineal ultrasound probe positioning based on CT scan for image guided radiotherapy
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsCamps, SM, Verhaegen, F, PaivaFonesca, G, de With, PHN, Fontanarosa, D
Conference NameSPIE medical imaging
Abstract

Image interpretation is crucial during ultrasound image acquisition. A skilled operator is typically needed to verify if the correct anatomical structures are all visualized and with sufficient quality. The need for this operator is one of the major reasons why presently ultrasound is not widely used in radiotherapy workflows.

To solve this issue, we introduce an algorithm that uses anatomical information derived from a CT scan to automatically provide the operator with a patient-specific ultrasound probe setup. The first application we investigated, for its relevance to radiotherapy, is 4D transperineal ultrasound image acquisition for prostate cancer patients.

As initial test, the algorithm was applied on a CIRS multi-modality pelvic phantom. Probe setups were calculated in order to allow visualization of the prostate and adjacent edges of bladder and rectum, as clinically required. Five of the proposed setups were reproduced using a precision robotic arm and ultrasound volumes were acquired. A gel-filled probe cover was used to ensure proper acoustic coupling, while taking into account possible tilted positions of the probe with respect to the flat phantom surface.

Visual inspection of the acquired volumes revealed that clinical requirements were fulfilled. Preliminary quantitative evaluation was also performed. The mean absolute distance (MAD) was calculated between actual anatomical structure positions and positions predicted by the CT-based algorithm. This resulted in a MAD of (2.8±0.4) mm for prostate, (2.5±0.6) mm for bladder and (2.8±0.6) mm for rectum. These results show that no significant systematic errors due to e.g. probe misplacement were introduced.