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Annals of Biomedical Engineering

, Volume 44, Issue 1, pp 154–173

First Online: 17 November 2015Received: 31 March 2015Accepted: 23 October 2015DOI: 10.1007-s10439-015-1496-z

Cite this article as: Eiben, B., Vavourakis, V., Hipwell, J.H. et al. Ann Biomed Eng 2016 44: 154. doi:10.1007-s10439-015-1496-z


Prone-to-supine breast image registration has potential application in the fields of surgical and radiotherapy planning, image guided interventions, and multi-modal cancer diagnosis, staging, and therapy response prediction. However, breast image registration of three dimensional images acquired in different patient positions is a challenging problem, due to large deformations induced to the soft breast tissue caused by the change in gravity loading. We present a symmetric, biomechanical simulation based registration framework which aligns the images in a central, virtually unloaded configuration. The breast tissue is modelled as a neo-Hookean material and gravity is considered as the main source of deformation in the original images. In addition to gravity, our framework successively applies image derived forces directly into the unloading simulation in place of a subsequent image registration step. This results in a biomechanically constrained deformation. Using a finite difference scheme avoids an explicit meshing step and enables simulations to be performed directly in the image space. The explicit time integration scheme allows the motion at the interface between chest and breast to be constrained along the chest wall. The feasibility and accuracy of the approach presented here was assessed by measuring the target registration error TRE using a numerical phantom with known ground truth deformations, nine clinical prone MRI and supine CT image pairs, one clinical prone-supine CT image pair and four prone-supine MRI image pairs. The registration reduced the mean TRE for the numerical phantom experiment from initially 19.3 to 0.9 mm and the combined mean TRE for all fourteen clinical data sets from 69.7 to 5.6 mm.

KeywordsImage analysis Image registration Breast cancer Biomechanics Modelling Finite difference method Associate Editor Karol Miller oversaw the review of this article.

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Autor: Björn Eiben - Vasileios Vavourakis - John H. Hipwell - Sven Kabus - Thomas Buelow - Cristian Lorenz - Thomy Mertzanidou -


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