A navigation system for percutaneous needle interventions based on PET/CT images: design, workflow and error analysis of soft tissue and bone punctures

Oliveira-Santos, Thiago; Klaeser, Bernd; Weitzel, Thilo; Krause, Thomas; Nolte, Lutz-Peter; Peterhans, Matthias; Weber, Stefan (2011). A navigation system for percutaneous needle interventions based on PET/CT images: design, workflow and error analysis of soft tissue and bone punctures. Computer aided surgery, 16(5), pp. 203-19. Abingdon, UK: Taylor & Francis 10.3109/10929088.2011.597566

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Percutaneous needle intervention based on PET/CT images is effective, but exposes the patient to unnecessary radiation due to the increased number of CT scans required. Computer assisted intervention can reduce the number of scans, but requires handling, matching and visualization of two different datasets. While one dataset is used for target definition according to metabolism, the other is used for instrument guidance according to anatomical structures. No navigation systems capable of handling such data and performing PET/CT image-based procedures while following clinically approved protocols for oncologic percutaneous interventions are available. The need for such systems is emphasized in scenarios where the target can be located in different types of tissue such as bone and soft tissue. These two tissues require different clinical protocols for puncturing and may therefore give rise to different problems during the navigated intervention. Studies comparing the performance of navigated needle interventions targeting lesions located in these two types of tissue are not often found in the literature. Hence, this paper presents an optical navigation system for percutaneous needle interventions based on PET/CT images. The system provides viewers for guiding the physician to the target with real-time visualization of PET/CT datasets, and is able to handle targets located in both bone and soft tissue. The navigation system and the required clinical workflow were designed taking into consideration clinical protocols and requirements, and the system is thus operable by a single person, even during transition to the sterile phase. Both the system and the workflow were evaluated in an initial set of experiments simulating 41 lesions (23 located in bone tissue and 18 in soft tissue) in swine cadavers. We also measured and decomposed the overall system error into distinct error sources, which allowed for the identification of particularities involved in the process as well as highlighting the differences between bone and soft tissue punctures. An overall average error of 4.23 mm and 3.07 mm for bone and soft tissue punctures, respectively, demonstrated the feasibility of using this system for such interventions. The proposed system workflow was shown to be effective in separating the preparation from the sterile phase, as well as in keeping the system manageable by a single operator. Among the distinct sources of error, the user error based on the system accuracy (defined as the distance from the planned target to the actual needle tip) appeared to be the most significant. Bone punctures showed higher user error, whereas soft tissue punctures showed higher tissue deformation error.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


10 Strategic Research Centers > ARTORG Center for Biomedical Engineering Research > ARTORG Center - Image Guided Therapy
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Radiology, Neuroradiology and Nuclear Medicine (DRNN) > Clinic of Nuclear Medicine
04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute for Surgical Technology & Biomechanics ISTB

UniBE Contributor:

Oliveira Dos Santos, Thiago; Klaeser, Bernd; Krause, Thomas Michael; Nolte, Lutz-Peter; Peterhans, Matthias and Weber, Stefan




Taylor & Francis




Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:19

Last Modified:

06 Dec 2013 13:27

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:



https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/6369 (FactScience: 211319)

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