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PLoS By Category | Recent PLoS Articles
Gastroenterology and Hepatology - Pathology - Radiology and Medical Imaging

Volume Navigation with Contrast Enhanced Ultrasound and Image Fusion for Percutaneous Interventions: First Results
Published: Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Author: Ernst Michael Jung et al.

by Ernst Michael Jung, Chris Friedrich, Patrick Hoffstetter, Lena Marie Dendl, Frank Klebl, Ayman Agha, Phillipp Wiggermann, Christian Stroszcynski, Andreas Georg Schreyer


Assessing the feasibility and efficiency of interventions using ultrasound (US) volume navigation (V Nav) with real time needle tracking and image fusion with contrast enhanced (ce) CT, MRI or US.


First an in vitro study on a liver phantom with CT data image fusion was performed, involving the puncture of a 10 mm lesion in a depth of 5 cm performed by 15 examiners with US guided freehand technique vs. V Nav for the purpose of time optimization. Then 23 patients underwent ultrasound-navigated biopsies or interventions using V Nav image fusion of live ultrasound with ceCT, ceMRI or CEUS, which were acquired before the intervention. A CEUS data set was acquired in all patients. Image fusion was established for CEUS and CT or CEUS and MRI using anatomical landmarks in the area of the targeted lesion. The definition of a virtual biopsy line with navigational axes targeting the lesion was achieved by the usage of sterile trocar with a magnetic sensor embedded in its distal tip employing a dedicated navigation software for real time needle tracking.


The in vitro study showed significantly less time needed for the simulated interventions in all examiners when V Nav was used (p<0.05). In the study involving patients, in all 10 biopsies of suspect lesions of the liver a histological confirmation was achieved. We also used V Nav for a breast biopsy (intraductal carcinoma), for a biopsy of the abdominal wall (metastasis of ovarial carcinoma) and for radiofrequency ablations (4 ablations). In 8 cases of inflammatory abdominal lesions 9 percutaneous drainages were successfully inserted.


Percutaneous biopsies and drainages, even of small lesions involving complex access pathways, can be accomplished with a high success rate by using 3D real time image fusion together with real time needle tracking.