Journal of International Society for Simulation Surgery
Journal of International Society for Simulation Surgery, Vol.2(1) : 26~32, 2015
Purpose : When a surgeon examines the morphology of skull of patient, locations of craniometric landmarks of 3D computed tomography(CT) volume are one of the most important information for surgical purpose. The locations of craniometric landmarks can be found manually by surgeon from the 3D rendered volume or 2D sagittal, axial, and coronal slices which are taken by CT. Since there are many landmarks on the skull, finding these manually is time-consuming, exhaustive, and occasionally inexact. These inefficiencies raise a demand for a automatic localization technique for craniometric landmark points. So in this paper, we propose a novel method through which we can automatically find these landmark points, which are useful for surgical purpose.
Materials and Methods : At first, we align the experimental data (CT volumes) using Frankfurt Horizontal Plane (FHP) and Mid Sagittal Plane(MSP) which are defined by 3 and 2 cranial landmark points each. The target landmark of our experiment is the anterior nasal spine. Prior to constructing a statistical cubic model which would be used for detecting the location of the landmark from a given CT volume, reference points for the anterior nasal spine were manually chosen by a surgeon from several CT volume sets. The statistical cubic model is constructed by calculating weighted intensity means of these CT sets around the reference points. By finding the location where similarity function (squared difference function) has the minimal value with this model, the location of the landmark can be found from any given CT volume.
Results : In this paper, we used 5 CT volumes to construct the statistical cubic model. The 20 CT volumes including the volumes, which were used to construct the model, were used for testing. The range of age of subjects is up to 2 years (24 months) old. The found points of each data are almost close to the reference point which were manually chosen by surgeon. Also it has been seen that the similarity function always has the global minimum at the detection point.
Conclusion : Through the experiment, we have seen the proposed method shows the outstanding performance in searching the landmark point. This algorithm would make surgeons efficiently work with morphological informations of skull. We also expect the potential of our algorithm for searching the anatomic landmarks not only cranial landmarks.