Image overlay guidance for needle insertion in CT scanner

Gabor Fichtinger, Anton Deguet, Ken Masamune, Emese Balogh, Gregory S. Fischer, Herve Mathieu, Russell H. Taylor, S. James Zinreich, Laura M. Fayad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

95 Scopus citations


We present an image overlay system to aid needle insertion procedures in computed tomography (CT) scanners. The device consists of a display and a semitransparent mirror that is mounted on the gantry. Looking at the patient through the mirror, the CT image appears to be floating inside the patient with correct size and position, thereby providing the physician with two-dimensional (2-D) "X-ray vision" to guide needle insertions. The physician inserts the needle following the optimal path identified in the CT image rendered on the display and, thus, reflected in the mirror. The system promises to reduce X-ray dose, patient discomfort, and procedure time by significantly reducing faulty insertion attempts. It may also increase needle placement accuracy. We report the design and implementation of the image overlay system followed by the results of phantom and cadaver experiments in several clinical applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1415-1424
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2005


  • Augmented reality
  • Computed tomography
  • Image guidance
  • Image overlay
  • Needle insertion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering


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