Tissue Feature-Based and Segmented Deformable Image Registration for Improved Modeling of Shear Movement of Lungs

Yaoqin Xie, Ming Chao, Lei Xing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Purpose: To report a tissue feature-based image registration strategy with explicit inclusion of the differential motions of thoracic structures. Methods and Materials: The proposed technique started with auto-identification of a number of corresponding points with distinct tissue features. The tissue feature points were found by using the scale-invariant feature transform method. The control point pairs were then sorted into different "colors" according to the organs in which they resided and used to model the involved organs individually. A thin-plate spline method was used to register a structure characterized by the control points with a given "color." The proposed technique was applied to study a digital phantom case and 3 lung and 3 liver cancer patients. Results: For the phantom case, a comparison with the conventional thin-plate spline method showed that the registration accuracy was markedly improved when the differential motions of the lung and chest wall were taken into account. On average, the registration error and standard deviation of the 15 points against the known ground truth were reduced from 3.0 to 0.5 mm and from 1.5 to 0.2 mm, respectively, when the new method was used. A similar level of improvement was achieved for the clinical cases. Conclusion: The results of our study have shown that the segmented deformable approach provides a natural and logical solution to model the discontinuous organ motions and greatly improves the accuracy and robustness of deformable registration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1256-1265
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 15 Jul 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Image-guided radiotherapy
  • deformable image registration
  • segmentation


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