Visualization of scoliotic spine using ultrasound-accessible skeletal landmarks

Ben Church, Andras Lasso, Christopher Schlenger, Daniel P. Borschneck, Parvin Mousavi, Gabor Fichtinger, Tamas Ungi

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

1 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: Ultrasound imaging is an attractive alternative to X-ray for scoliosis diagnosis and monitoring due to its safety and inexpensiveness. The transverse processes as skeletal landmarks are accessible by means of ultrasound and are sufficient for quantifying scoliosis, but do not provide an informative visualization of the spine. METHODS: We created a method for visualization of the scoliotic spine using a 3D transform field, resulting from thin-spline interpolation of a landmark-based registration between the transverse processes that we localized in both the patient's ultrasound and an average healthy spine model. Additional anchor points were computationally generated to control the thin-spline interpolation, in order to gain a transform field that accurately represents the deformation of the patient's spine. The transform field is applied to the average spine model, resulting in a 3D surface model depicting the patient's spine. We applied ground truth CT from pediatric scoliosis patients in which we reconstructed the bone surface and localized the transverse processes. We warped the average spine model and analyzed the match between the patient's bone surface and the warped spine. RESULTS: Visual inspection revealed accurate rendering of the scoliotic spine. Notable misalignments occurred mainly in the anterior-posterior direction, and at the first and last vertebrae, which is immaterial for scoliosis quantification. The average Hausdorff distance computed for 4 patients was 2.6 mm. CONCLUSIONS: We achieved qualitatively accurate and intuitive visualization to depict the 3D deformation of the patient's spine when compared to ground truth CT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMedical Imaging 2017
Subtitle of host publicationImage-Guided Procedures, Robotic Interventions, and Modeling
ISBN (Electronic)9781510607156
StatePublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes
EventMedical Imaging 2017: Image-Guided Procedures, Robotic Interventions, and Modeling - Orlando, United States
Duration: Feb 14 2017Feb 16 2017


OtherMedical Imaging 2017: Image-Guided Procedures, Robotic Interventions, and Modeling
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • Scoliosis
  • Spine
  • Ultrasound
  • Visualization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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