A Locally Adaptive Regularization Based on Anisotropic Diffusion for Deformable Image Registration of Sliding Organs


We propose a deformable image registration algorithm that uses anisotropic smoothing for regularization to find correspondences between images of sliding organs. In particular, we apply the method for respiratory motion estimation in longitudinal thoracic and abdominal computed tomography scans. The algorithm uses locally adaptive diffusion tensors to determine the direction and magnitude with which to smooth the components of the displacement field that are normal and tangential to an expected sliding boundary. Validation was performed using synthetic, phantom, and 14 clinical datasets, including the publicly available DIR-Lab dataset. We show that motion discontinuities caused by sliding can be effectively recovered, unlike conventional regularizations that enforce globally smooth motion. In the clinical datasets, target registration error showed improved accuracy for lung landmarks compared to the diffusive regularization. We also present a generalization of our algorithm to other sliding geometries, including sliding tubes (e.g., needles sliding through tissue, or contrast agent flowing through a vessel). Potential clinical applications of this method include longitudinal change detection and radiotherapy for lung or abdominal tumours, especially those near the chest or abdominal wall.

IEEE Trans. Medical Imaging
Marc Niethammer
Marc Niethammer
Professor of Computer Science

My research interests include image registration, image segmentation, shape analysis, machine learning, and biomedical applications.