"Nonrigid Registration with Tissue-Dependent Filtering of the Deformation Field"
Marius Staring, Stefan Klein and Josien P.W. Pluim
In present-day medical practice it is often necessary to nonrigidly align image data. Current registration algorithms do not generally take the characteristics of tissue into account. Consequently, rigid tissue, such as bone, can be deformed elastically, growth of tumours may be concealed, and contrast-enhanced structures may be reduced in volume. We propose a method to locally adapt the deformation field at structures that must be kept rigid, using a tissue-dependent filtering technique. This adaptive filtering of the deformation field results in locally linear transformations without scaling or shearing. The degree of filtering is related to tissue stiffness: more filtering is applied at stiff tissue locations, less at parts of the image containing nonrigid tissue. The tissue-dependent filter is incorporated in a commonly used registration algorithm, using mutual information as a similarity measure and cubic B-splines to model the deformation field. The new registration algorithm is compared with this popular method. Evaluation of the proposed tissue-dependent filtering is performed on 3D CT data of the thorax and on 2D Digital Subtraction Angiography (DSA) images. The results show that tissue-dependent filtering of the deformation field leads to improved registration results: tumour volumes and vessel widths are preserved rather than affected.