We present the development of a two-component magnetic resonance (MR) fiducial system, that is, a fiducial marker device combined with an auto-segmentation algorithm, designed to be paired with existing ultrasound probe tracking and image fusion technology to automatically fuse MR and ultrasound (US) images. The fiducial device consisted of four ~6.4 mL cylindrical wells filled with 1 g/L copper sulfate solution. The algorithm was designed to automatically segment the device in clinical abdominal MR images. The algorithm's detection rate and repeatability were investigated through a phantom study and in human volunteers. The detection rate was 100% in all phantom and human images. The center-of-mass of the fiducial device was robustly identified with maximum variations of 2.9 mm in position and 0.9° in angular orientation. In volunteer images, average differences between algorithm-measured inter-marker spacings and actual separation distances were 0.53 ± 0.36 mm. “Proof-of-concept” automatic MR-US fusions were conducted with sets of images from both a phantom and volunteer using a commercial prototype system, which was built based on the above findings. Image fusion accuracy was measured to be within 5 mm for breath-hold scanning. These results demonstrate the capability of this approach to automatically fuse US and MR images acquired across a wide range of clinical abdominal pulse sequences.
- fiducial marker
- image fusion
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging