Validation of fully automatic brain SPET to MR co-registration

Leighton Barnden, Richard Kwiatek, Yiu Lau, Brian Hutton, Lennart Thurfjell, Kevin Pile, Christopher Rowe

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    44 Citations (Scopus)


    Fully automatic co-registration of functional to anatomical brain images using information intrinsic to the scans has been validated in a clinical setting for positron emission tomography (PET), but not for single-photon emission tomography (SPET). In this paper we evaluate technetium-99m hexamethylpropylene amine oxime to magnetic resonance (MR) co-registration for five fully automatic methods. We attached six small fiducial markers, visible in both SPET and MR, to the skin of 13 subjects. No increase in the radius of SPET acquisition was necessary. Distortion of the fiducial marker distribution observed in the SPET and MR studies was characterised by a measure independent of registration and three subjects were excluded on the basis of excessive distortion. The location of each fiducial marker was determined in each modality to sub-pixel precision and the inter-modality distance was averaged over all markers to give a fiducial registration error (FRE). The component of FRE excluding the variability inherent in the validation method was estimated by computing the error transformation between the arrays of MR marker locations and registered SPET marker locations. When applied to the fiducial marker locations this yielded the surface registration error (SRE), and when applied to a representative set of locations within the brain it yielded the intrinsic registration error (IRE). For the best method, mean IRE was 1.2 mm, SRE 1.5 mm and FRE 2.4 mm (with corresponding maxima of 3.3, 4.3 and 5.0 mm). All methods yielded a mean IRE <3 mm. The accuracy of the most accurate fully automatic SPET to MR co- registration was comparable with that published for PET to MR. With high standards of calibration and instrumentation, intra-subject cerebral SPET to MR registration accuracy of <2 mm is attainable.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)147-154
    Number of pages8
    JournalEuropean Journal of Nuclear Medicine
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2000


    • Image registration
    • Magnetic resonance
    • Modality images
    • Multi
    • Photon emission tomography
    • Single
    • Validation


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