Registration of emission and transmission whole-body scintillation-camera images
Katarina Sjögreen Gleisner
Summary, in English
In this work, a method for registration of whole-body (WB) scintillation-camera images is presented. The primary motive for the development is to perform activity quantification using the conjugate view method on an image basis. Accurate image registration is required for sequential anterior and posterior scans, for serial emission images for analysis of the biokinetics, and for transmission and emission images for a pixel-based attenuation correction. METHODS: Registration is performed by maximization of the mutual information. The spatial transformation has been tailored for the registration of WB images and is composed of global and local transformations, including rigid, projective, and curved transformations. A coarse registration is first performed using cross-correlation and direct pixel scaling. Optimization is then performed in a sequence, beginning with the 2 legs independently, followed by the upper body and head. Evaluation is performed for clinical images of an (131)I-labeled monoclonal antibody and for Monte Carlo-simulated images. An anthropomorphic WB computer phantom, which has been especially modified to match the patient position during WB scanning, is used for the simulations. RESULTS: For simulated images, registration errors are within 1 pixel (<3.6 mm) for a sufficient image count level. Separate evaluation of the influence of noise shows that the errors increase below a total image count of approximately 10(5) (signal-to-noise ratio, approximately 4). For clinical evaluations, the deviations between point markers are 9 +/- 5 mm. CONCLUSION: An automatic registration method for WB images has been developed, which is applicable to emission-emission and transmission-emission registration. This method has been applied in more than 50 clinical studies and has shown to be robust and reliable.