3D ULTRASOUND PROBES
Purpose: Two of the main challenges associated with electromagnetic (EM) tracking in computer-assisted interventions (CAIs) are (1) the compensation of systematic distance errors arising from the influence of metal near the field generator (FG) or the tracked sensor and (2) the optimized setup of the FG to maximize tracking accuracy in the area of interest. Recently, two new FGs addressing these issues were proposed for the well-established Aurorae (R) tracking system [Northern Digital, Inc. (NDI), Waterloo, Canada]: the Tabletop 50-70 FG, a planar transmitter with a built-in shield that compensates for metal distortions emanating from treatment tables, and the prototypical Compact FG 7-10, a mobile generator designed to be attached to mobile imaging devices. The purpose of this paper was to assess the accuracy and precision of these new FGs in an interventional radiology setting.
Methods: A standardized assessment protocol, which uses a precisely machined base plate to measure relative error in position and orientation, was applied to the two new FGs as well as to the well-established standard Aurora (R) Planar FG. The experiments were performed in two different settings: a reference laboratory environment and a computed tomography (CT) scanning room. In each setting, the protocol was applied to three different poses of the measurement plate within the tracking volume of the three FGs.
Results: The two new FGs provided higher precision and accuracy within their respective measurement volumes as well as higher robustness with respect to the CT scanner compared to the established FG. Considering all possible 5 cm distances on the grid, the error of the Planar FG was increased by a factor of 5.94 in the clinical environment (4.4 mm) in comparison to the error in the laboratory environment (0.8 mm). In contrast, the mean values for the two new FGs were all below 1 mm with an increase in the error by factors of only 2.94 (Reference: 0.3 mm; CT: 0.9 mm) and 1.04 (both: 0.5 mm) in the case of the Tabletop FG and the Compact FG, respectively.
Conclusions: Due to their high accuracy and robustness, the Tabletop PG and the Compact PG could eliminate the need for compensation of EM field distortions in certain CT-guided interventions.
Type of Publication:
Journal article published