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Proceedings Paper

Robust real-time instrument tracking in ultrasound images
Author(s): Tobias Ortmaier; Marie-Aude Vitrani; Guillaume Morel; Samuel Pinault
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Paper Abstract

Minimally invasive surgery in combination with ultrasound (US) imaging imposes high demands on the surgeon's hand-eye-coordination capabilities. A possible solution to reduce these requirements is minimally invasive robotic surgery in which the instrument is guided by visual servoing towards the goal defined by the surgeon in the US image. This approach requires robust tracking of the instrument in the US image sequences which is known to be difficult due to poor image quality. This paper presents algorithms and results of first tracking experiments. Adaptive thresholding based on Otsu's method allows to cope with large intensity variations of the instrument echo. Median filtering of the binary image and subsequently applied morphological operations suppress noise and echo artefacts. A fast run length code based labelling algorithm allows for real-time labelling of the regions. A heuristic exploiting region size and region velocity helps to overcome ambiguities. The overall computation time is less than 20 ms per frame on a standard PC. The tracking algorithm requires no information about texture and shape which are known to be very unreliable in US image sequences. Experimental results for two different instrument materials (polyvinyl chloride and polyurethane) are given, showing the performance of the proposed approach. Choosing the appropriate material, trajectories are smooth and only few outliers occur.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 April 2005
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 5750, Medical Imaging 2005: Ultrasonic Imaging and Signal Processing, (12 April 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.594109
Show Author Affiliations
Tobias Ortmaier, German Aerospace Ctr. (Germany)
Lab. de Robotique de Paris (France)
Marie-Aude Vitrani, Lab. de Robotique de Paris (France)
Guillaume Morel, Lab. de Robotique de Paris (France)
Samuel Pinault, Lab. de Robotique de Paris (France)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5750:
Medical Imaging 2005: Ultrasonic Imaging and Signal Processing
William F. Walker; Stanislav Y. Emelianov, Editor(s)

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