Augmented-reality visualization for improved patient positioning workflow during MR-HIFU therapy

Francesca Manni, Cyril J. Ferrer, Celine E.C. Vincent, Marco Lai, L.W. Bartels, Clemens Bos, Fons van der Sommen, Peter H.N. de With

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MR-guided high-intensity focused ultrasound (MR-HIFU) is a non-invasive therapeutic technology which has demonstrated clinical potential for tissue ablation. The application of this therapeutic approach facilitated to be a promising option to achieve faster pain palliation in patients with bone metastasis. However, its clinical adoption is still hampered by a lack of workflow integration. Currently, to ensure sufficient positioning, MR images have to be repeatedly acquired in between patient re-positioning tasks, leading to a time-consuming preparation phase of at least 30 minutes, involving extra costs and time to the available treatment time. Augmented reality (AR) is a promising technology that enables the fusion of medical images, such as MRI, with the view of an external camera. AR represents a valid tool for a faster localization and visualization of the lesion during positioning. The aim of this work is the implementation of a novel AR setup for accelerating the patient positioning during MRHIFU treatments by enabling adequate target positioning outside the MRI scanner. A marker-based approach was investigated for fusing the MR data with video data for providing an augmented view. Initial experiments on four volunteers show that MR images were overlaid on the camera views with an average re-projection error of 3.13 mm, which matches the clinical requirements for this specific application. It can be concluded that the implemented system is suitable for MR-HIFU procedures and supports its clinical adoption by improving the patient positioning, thereby offering potential for faster treatment time.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMedical Imaging 2021
Subtitle of host publicationImage-Guided Procedures, Robotic Interventions, and Modeling
EditorsCristian A. Linte, Jeffrey H. Siewerdsen
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781510640252
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2021
EventSPIE Medical Imaging 2021 - Online, United States
Duration: 15 Feb 202119 Feb 2021

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)1605-7422


ConferenceSPIE Medical Imaging 2021
Country/TerritoryUnited States


FundersFunder number
European Union 's Horizon 2020 - Research and Innovation Framework Programme721766
Universiteit Utrecht


    • Augmented reality
    • High-intensity focused ultrasound
    • Image fusion
    • MR-HIFU
    • Patient tracking


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