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Techn. Fakultät Willkommen am Institut für Informatik FAU-Logo

Dr.-Ing. Christopher Rohkohl

Alumnus of the Pattern Recognition Lab of the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

The vision of my work is to develop methods that open up the possibility to visualize highly dynamic (moving) vital parts of the human body as the heart. This provides one key towards the development of novel diagnostic tools and medical treatment procedures.

Research Project: Image-Based Gating

Method Overview
Applying the concept of retrospective electrocardiogram gating (ECG) to the acquisition of multiple, ECG-triggered rotational acquisitions using a C-arm system allows the 3D+t reconstruction of the heart. The process of retrospective gating is a crucial component of 3-D reconstruction. The gold-standard in gating is still ECG based. However, the ECG signal does not directly reflect the mechanical situation of the heart. Therefore an alternative gating method, based on the acquired projection data is required. Our goal is to provide an image-based gating (IBG) method without ECG such that already acquired projection data from a multi-sweep acquisition can still be used for reconstruction. We formulate the gating problem as a shortest-path optimization problem. All acquired projection images build a directed graph and the path costs are defined by projection image similarities that are based on image metrics to measure the heart phase similarity. The optimization is additionally regularized to prefer solutions where the path segment of consecutive selected projections acquired along a particular forward or backward C-arm sweep is short. This regularization depends on an estimated average heart rate that is also estimated using an image-based method. First promising results using in-vivo data are presented and compared to standard ECG gating.

Results
  • At stable heart rates ECG-gating seems to yield slightly superior image quality.
  • Since image-based gating better reflects physiological information it seems to better handle cases with irregular heart rates.

Publications
Rohkohl, C.; Prümmer, Marcus; Lauritsch, G.; Hornegger, Joachim
Cardiac C-arm CT: image-based gating In: Hsieh, J.; Samei, E. (Eds.)
Medical Imaging 2008: Physics of Medical Imaging. Proceedings of the SPIE. (Medical Imaging 2008: Physics of Medical Imaging. Proceedings of the SPIE. San Diego 16.-21.02.2008) 2008, pp. online (BiBTeX)