Tracker-on-C for cone-beam CT-guided surgery: Evaluation of geometric accuracy and clinical applications

S. Reaungamornrat, Y. Otake, A. Uneri, S. Schafer, D. J. Mirota, S. Nithiananthan, J. W. Stayman, A. J. Khanna, D. D. Reh, G. L. Gallia, R. H. Taylor, J. H. Siewerdsen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

4 Scopus citations


Conventional surgical tracking configurations carry a variety of limitations in line-of-sight, geometric accuracy, and mismatch with the surgeon's perspective (for video augmentation). With increasing utilization of mobile C-arms, particularly those allowing cone-beam CT (CBCT), there is opportunity to better integrate surgical trackers at bedside to address such limitations. This paper describes a tracker configuration in which the tracker is mounted directly on the Carm. To maintain registration within a dynamic coordinate system, a reference marker visible across the full C-arm rotation is implemented, and the "Tracker-on-C" configuration is shown to provide improved target registration error (TRE) over a conventional in-room setup - (0.9±0.4) mm vs (1.9±0.7) mm, respectively. The system also can generate digitally reconstructed radiographs (DRRs) from the perspective of a tracked tool ("x-ray flashlight"), the tracker, or the C-arm ("virtual fluoroscopy"), with geometric accuracy in virtual fluoroscopy of (0.4±0.2) mm. Using a video-based tracker, planning data and DRRs can be superimposed on the video scene from a natural perspective over the surgical field, with geometric accuracy (0.8±0.3) pixels for planning data overlay and (0.6±0.4) pixels for DRR overlay across all C-arm angles. The field-of-view of fluoroscopy or CBCT can also be overlaid on real-time video ("Virtual Field Light") to assist C-arm positioning. The fixed transformation between the x-ray image and tracker facilitated quick, accurate intraoperative registration. The workflow and precision associated with a variety of realistic surgical tasks were significantly improved using the Tracker-on-C - for example, nearly a factor of 2 reduction in time required for C-arm positioning, reduction or elimination of dose in "hunting" for a specific fluoroscopic view, and confident placement of the x-ray FOV on the surgical target. The proposed configuration streamlines the integration of C-arm CBCT with realtime tracking and demonstrated utility in a spectrum of image-guided interventions (e.g., spine surgery) benefiting from improved accuracy, enhanced visualization, and reduced radiation exposure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMedical Imaging 2012
Subtitle of host publicationImage-Guided Procedures, Robotic Interventions, and Modeling
StatePublished - 2012
EventMedical Imaging 2012: Image-Guided Procedures, Robotic Interventions, and Modeling - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Feb 5 2012Feb 7 2012

Publication series

NameProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)1605-7422


OtherMedical Imaging 2012: Image-Guided Procedures, Robotic Interventions, and Modeling
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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