Regional-surface-based registration for image-guided neurosurgery: effects of scan modes on registration accuracy

  • Yuan Dong
  • Chenxi ZhangEmail author
  • Dafeng Ji
  • Manning Wang
  • Zhijian SongEmail author
Original Article



The conventional surface-based method only registers the facial zone with preoperative point cloud, resulting in low accuracy away from the facial area. Acquiring a point cloud of the entire head for registration can improve registration accuracy in all parts of the head. However, it takes a long time to collect a point cloud of the entire head. It may be more practical to selectively scan part of the head to ensure high registration accuracy in the surgical area of interest. In this study, we investigate the effects of different scan regions on registration errors in different target areas when using a surface-based registration method.


We first evaluated the correlation between the laser scan resolution and registration accuracy to determine an appropriate scan resolution. Then, with the appropriate resolution, we explored the effects of scan modes on registration error in computer simulation experiments, phantom experiments and two clinical cases. The scan modes were designed based on different combinations of five zones of the head surface, i.e., the sphenoid-frontal zone, parietal zone, left temporal zone, right temporal zone and occipital zone. In the phantom experiment, a handheld scanner was used to acquire a point cloud of the head. A head model containing several tumors was designed, enabling us to calculate the target registration errors deep in the brain to evaluate the effect of regional-surface-based registration.


The optimal scan modes for tumors located in the sphenoid-frontal, parietal and temporal areas are mode 4 (i.e., simultaneously scanning the sphenoid-frontal zone and the temporal zone), mode 4 and mode 6 (i.e., simultaneously scanning the sphenoid-frontal zone, the temporal zone and the parietal zone), respectively. For the tumor located in the occipital area, no modes were able to achieve reliable accuracy.


The results show that selecting an appropriate scan resolution and scan mode can achieve reliable accuracy for use in sphenoid-frontal, parietal and temporal area surgeries while effectively reducing the operation time.


Image-guided neurosurgery Regional-surface-based registration Point-based registration Target registration error 



This study was funded by the Shanghai Natural Science Foundation (Grant No. 17ZR1401500), and by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 81471758).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.


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Copyright information

© CARS 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Digital Medical Research Center, School of Basic Medical SciencesFudan UniversityShanghaiChina
  2. 2.Shanghai Key Laboratory of Medical Imaging Computing and Computer Assisted InterventionShanghaiChina
  3. 3.Anatomy Department of Medical SchoolNantong UniversityNantongChina

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