RATIONALE AND OBJECTIVES: There have been multiple investigations defining and reporting the effectiveness of focal cryoablation as a treatment option for organ-confined prostate cancer. However, the impact of cryo-needle/probe placement accuracy within the tumor and gland has not been extensively studied. We analyzed how variations in the placement of the cryo-needles, specifically errors leading to incomplete ablation, may affect prostate cancer's resulting cryoablation.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We performed a study based on isothermal models using Monte Carlo simulations to analyze the impact of needle placement errors on tumor coverage and the probability of positive ablation margin. We modeled the placement error as a Gaussian noise on the cryo-needle position. The analysis used retrospective MRI data of 15 patients with biopsy-proven, unifocal, and MRI visible prostate cancer to calculate the impact of placement error on the volume of the tumor encompassed by the -40°C and -20°C isotherms using one to four cryo-needles.
RESULTS: When the standard deviation of the placement error reached 3 mm, the tumor coverage was still above 97% with the -20°C isotherm, and above 81% with the -40°C isotherm using two cryo-needles or more. The probability of positive margin was significantly lower considering the -20°C isotherm (0.04 for three needles) than using the -40°C isotherm (0.66 for three needles).
CONCLUSION: The results indicated that accurate cryo-needle placement is essential for the success of focal cryoablation of prostate cancer. The analysis shows that an admissible targeting error depends on the lethal temperature considered and the number of cryo-needles used.
CONTEXT: As an emerging technique, three-dimensional (3D) visualization has become more popular and can facilitate education, training, surgical planning, and intraoperative guidance for prostate cancer surgery.
OBJECTIVE: In this review, we aim to present the impact of 3D printing, virtual reality (VR), and augmented reality (AR) techniques for prostate cancer procedures, specifically prostate biopsy and radical prostatectomy (RP).
EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: A systematic review was performed by two investigators according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses (PRISMA) criteria.
EVIDENCE SYNTHESIS: A total of 541 papers were identified in PubMed, Scopus, and Embase. Of these, 53 studies were identified for detailed review and 25 were qualified. Two more studies were identified from the references; thus, 27 studies were finally included in this systematic review. Nine papers reported on the use of 3D reconstructed models, mainly in education/training and intraoperative guidance; nine reported on VR, focusing on simulation training model and intraoperative guidance; and nine reported on AR technique with its best indication for surgical guidance in robotic RP.
CONCLUSIONS: Three-dimensional visualization techniques have gradually been introduced and developed in prostate procedures, and demonstrate potential utility not only for education/training, but also for surgical planning and intraoperative guidance. Prospective studies are needed to demonstrate clinical utility and validation of these technologies.
PATIENT SUMMARY: Despite low-quality evidence, promising signals were identified to demonstrate that three-dimensional visualization could help facilitate prostate procedures, in terms of education/training, surgical planning, and intraoperative guidance. It is still in a very early stage, and more studies need to be conducted to justify its widespread use.
PURPOSE: Image guidance is crucial for percutaneous tumor ablations, enabling accurate needle-like applicator placement into target tumors while avoiding tissues that are sensitive to injury and/or correcting needle deflection. Although ultrasound (US) is widely used for image guidance, magnetic resonance (MR) is preferable due to its superior soft tissue contrast. The objective of this study was to develop and evaluate an MR and US multi-modal image-guided navigation system with a needle manipulator to enable US-guided applicator placement during MR imaging (MRI)-guided percutaneous tumor ablation.
METHODS: The MRI-compatible needle manipulator with US probe was installed adjacent to a 3 Tesla MRI scanner patient table. Coordinate systems for the MR image, patient table, manipulator, and US probe were all registered using an optical tracking sensor. The patient was initially scanned in the MRI scanner bore for planning and then moved outside the bore for treatment. Needle insertion was guided by real-time US imaging fused with the reformatted static MR image to enhance soft tissue contrast. Feasibility, targeting accuracy, and MR compatibility of the system were evaluated using a bovine liver and agar phantoms.
RESULTS: Targeting error for 50 needle insertions was 1.6 ± 0.6 mm (mean ± standard deviation). The experiment confirmed that fused MR and US images provided real-time needle localization against static MR images with soft tissue contrast.
CONCLUSIONS: The proposed MR and US multi-modal image-guided navigation system using a needle manipulator enabled accurate needle insertion by taking advantage of static MR and real-time US images simultaneously. Real-time visualization helped determine needle depth, tissue monitoring surrounding the needle path, target organ shifts, and needle deviation from the path.
OBJECTIVE: Accurate biopsy sampling of the suspected lesions is critical for the diagnosis and clinical management of prostate cancer. Transperineal in-bore MRI-guided prostate biopsy (tpMRgBx) is a targeted biopsy technique that was shown to be safe, efficient, and accurate. Our goal was to develop an open source software platform to support evaluation, refinement, and translation of this biopsy approach.
METHODS: We developed SliceTracker, a 3D Slicer extension to support tpMRgBx. We followed modular design of the implementation to enable customization of the interface and interchange of image segmentation and registration components to assess their effect on the processing time, precision, and accuracy of the biopsy needle placement. The platform and supporting documentation were developed to enable the use of software by an operator with minimal technical training to facilitate translation. Retrospective evaluation studied registration accuracy, effect of the prostate segmentation approach, and re-identification time of biopsy targets. Prospective evaluation focused on the total procedure time and biopsy targeting error (BTE).
RESULTS: Evaluation utilized data from 73 retrospective and ten prospective tpMRgBx cases. Mean landmark registration error for retrospective evaluation was 1.88 ± 2.63 mm, and was not sensitive to the approach used for prostate gland segmentation. Prospectively, we observed target re-identification time of 4.60 ± 2.40 min and BTE of 2.40 ± 0.98 mm.
CONCLUSION: SliceTracker is modular and extensible open source platform for supporting image processing aspects of the tpMRgBx procedure. It has been successfully utilized to support clinical research procedures at our site.
PURPOSE: Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-guided percutaneous cryotherapy of abdominal lesions, an established procedure, uses MRI to guide and monitor the cryoablation of lesions. Methods to precisely guide cryotherapy probes with a minimum amount of trial-and-error are yet to be established. To aid physicians in attaining precise probe alignment without trial-and-error, a body-mounted motorized cryotherapy-probe alignment device (BMCPAD) with motion compensation was clinically tested in this study. The study also compared the contribution of body motion and organ motion compensation to the guidance accuracy of a body-mounted probe alignment device.
METHODS: The accuracy of guidance using the BMCPAD was prospectively measured during MRI-guided percutaneous cryotherapies before insertion of the probes. Clinical parameters including patient age, types of anesthesia, depths of the target, and organ sites of target were collected. By using MR images of the target organs and fiducial markers embedded in the BMCPAD, we retrospectively simulated the guidance accuracy with body motion compensation, organ motion compensation, and no compensation. The collected data were analyzed to test the impact of motion compensation on the guidance accuracy.
RESULTS: Thirty-seven physical guidance of probes were prospectively recorded for sixteen completed cases. The accuracy of physical guidance using the BMCPAD was 13.4 ± 11.1 mm. The simulated accuracy of guidance with body motion compensation, organ motion compensation, and no compensation was 2.4 ± 2.9 mm, 2.2 ± 1.6 mm, and 3.5 ± 2.9 mm, respectively. Data analysis revealed that the body motion compensation and organ motion compensation individually impacted the improvement in the accuracy of simulated guidance. Moreover, the difference in the accuracy of guidance either by body motion compensation or organ motion compensation was not statistically significant. The major clinical parameters impacting the accuracy of guidance were the body and organ motions. Patient age, types of anesthesia, depths of the target, and organ sites of target did not influence the accuracy of guidance using BMCPAD. The magnitude of body surface movement and organ movement exhibited mutual statistical correlation.
CONCLUSIONS: The BMCPAD demonstrated guidance accuracy comparable to that of previously reported devices for CT-guided procedures. The analysis using simulated motion compensation revealed that body motion compensation and organ motion compensation individually impact the improvement in the accuracy of device-guided cryotherapy probe alignment. Considering the correlation between body and organ movements, we also determined that body motion compensation using the ring fiducial markers in the BMCPAD can be solely used to address both body and organ motions in MRI-guided cryotherapy.
PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to develop a method to delineate the lethally frozen-tissue region (temperature less than -40°C) arising from interventional cryoablation procedures using a short tau inversion-recovery ultrashort echo-time (STIR-UTE) magnetic resonance (MR) imaging sequence. This method could serve as an intraprocedural validation of the completion of tumor ablation, reducing the number of local recurrences after cryoablation procedures.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The method relies on the short T1 and T2* relaxation times of frozen soft tissue. Pointwise Encoding Time with Radial Acquisition, a 3-dimensional UTE sequence with TE = 70 microseconds, was optimized with STIR to null tissues with a T1 of approximately 271 milliseconds, the threshold T1. Because the T1 relaxation time of frozen tissue in the temperature range of -40°C < temperature < -8°C is shorter than the threshold T1 at the 3-tesla magnetic field, tissues in this range should appear hyperintense. The sequence was evaluated in ex vivo frozen tissue, where image intensity and actual tissue temperatures, measured by thermocouples, were correlated. Thereafter, the sequence was evaluated clinically in 12 MR-guided prostate cancer cryoablations, where MR-compatible cryoprobes were used to destroy cancerous tissue and preserve surrounding normal tissue.
RESULTS: The ex vivo experiment using a bovine muscle demonstrated that STIR-UTE images showed regions approximately between -40°C and -8°C as hyperintense, with tissues at lower and higher temperatures appearing dark, making it possible to identify the region likely to be above the lethal temperature inside the frozen tissue. In the clinical cases, the STIR-UTE images showed a dark volume centered on the cryoprobe shaft, Vinner, where the temperature is likely below -40°C, surrounded by a doughnut-shaped hyperintense volume, where the temperature is likely between -40°C and -8°C. The hyperintense region was itself surrounded by a dark volume, where the temperature is likely above -8°C, permitting calculation of Vouter. The STIR-UTE frozen-tissue volumes, Vinner and Vouter, appeared significantly smaller than signal voids on turbo spin echo images (P < 1.0 × 10), which are currently used to quantify the frozen-tissue volume ("the iceball"). The ratios of the Vinner and Vouter volumes to the iceball were 0.92 ± 0.08 and 0.29 ± 0.07, respectively. In a single postablation follow-up case, a strong correlation was seen between Vinner and the necrotic volume.
CONCLUSIONS: Short tau inversion-recovery ultrashort echo-time MR imaging successfully delineated the area approximately between -40°C and -8°C isotherms in the frozen tissue, demonstrating its potential to monitor the lethal ablation volume during MR-guided cryoablation.
Foldable origami structures have been implemented into robotics as a way of compacting joints and circuitry into smaller structures. This technique is especially useful in minimally invasive surgical instruments, where the goal is to create slimline devices that can be inserted through small incisions. Origami also has the potential to cut costs by reducing the amount of material required for assembly. Origami devices are especially suitable for MRI-guided procedures, where instruments must be nonmagnetic because origami is more suitable for flexible, non-metallic materials. MR conditional surgical instruments enable intraoperative MRI procedures that provide superior imaging capabilities to physicians to allow for safer procedures. This work presents an MR conditional joint developed using origami techniques that reduces costs by eliminating assembly of various components and has potential applications in endoscopy. The joint is a compliant rolling-contact element that employs curved-folding origami techniques. A chain of these joints can be constructed from a single sheet of material, eliminating assembly of numerous materials to produce a final product, which is specifically advantageous for constructing low-cost, disposable surgical devices. The prototype contains a degree of bending of ±9 degrees per joint, a response time of less than 4 seconds and an actuation force of 0.5 N using a 1.25 A current. The MRI results showed a minimal artifact of less than 1 mm measured from the boundary of the joint chain and a SNR reduction of less than 10%.
This paper presents the development, preclinical evaluation, and preliminary clinical study of a robotic system for targeted transperineal prostate biopsy under direct interventional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) guidance. The clinically integrated robotic system is developed based on a modular design approach, comprised of surgical navigation application, robot control software, MRI robot controller hardware, and robotic needle placement manipulator. The system provides enabling technologies for MRI-guided procedures. It can be easily transported and setup for supporting the clinical workflow of interventional procedures, and the system is readily extensible and reconfigurable to other clinical applications. Preclinical evaluation of the system is performed with phantom studies in a 3 Tesla MRI scanner, rehearsing the proposed clinical workflow, and demonstrating an in-plane targeting error of 1.5mm. The robotic system has been approved by the institutional review board (IRB) for clinical trials. A preliminary clinical study is conducted with the patient consent, demonstrating the targeting errors at two biopsy target sites to be 4.0 and 3.7, which is sufficient to target a clinically significant tumor foci. First-in-human trials to evaluate the system's effectiveness and accuracy for MR image-guide prostate biopsy are underway.
Intra-operative imaging is sometimes available to assist needle biopsy, but typical open-loop insertion does not account for unmodeled needle deflection or target shift. Closed-loop image-guided compensation for deviation from an initial straight-line trajectory through rotational control of an asymmetric tip can reduce targeting error. Incorporating robotic closed-loop control often reduces physician interaction with the patient, but by pairing closed-loop trajectory compensation with hands-on cooperatively controlled insertion, a physician's control of the procedure can be maintained while incorporating benefits of robotic accuracy. A series of needle insertions were performed with a typical 18G needle using closed-loop active compensation under both fully autonomous and user-directed cooperative control. We demonstrated equivalent improvement in accuracy while maintaining physician-in-the-loop control with no statistically significant difference (p > 0.05) in the targeting accuracy between any pair of autonomous or individual cooperative sets, with average targeting accuracy of 3.56 mm. With cooperatively controlled insertions and target shift between 1 and 10 mm introduced upon needle contact, the system was able to effectively compensate up to the point where error approached a maximum curvature governed by bending mechanics. These results show closed-loop active compensation can enhance targeting accuracy, and that the improvement can be maintained under user directed cooperative insertion.
While the interaction between a needle and the surrounding tissue is known to cause a significant targeting error in prostate biopsy leading to false-negative results, few studies have demonstrated how it impacts in the actual procedure. We performed a pilot study on robot-assisted MRI-guided prostate biopsy with an emphasis on the in-depth analysis of the needle-tissue interaction in vivo. The data were acquired during in-bore transperineal prostate biopsies in patients using a 4 degrees-of-freedom (DoF) MRI-compatible robot. The anatomical structures in the pelvic area and the needle path were reconstructed from MR images, and quantitatively analyzed. We analyzed each structure individually and also proposed a mathematical model to investigate the influence of those structures in the targeting error using the mixed-model regression. The median targeting error in 188 insertions (27 patients) was 6.3 mm. Both the individual anatomical structure analysis and the mixed-model analysis showed that the deviation resulted from the contact between the needle and the skin as the main source of error. On contrary, needle bending inside the tissue (expressed as needle curvature) did not vary among insertions with targeting errors above and below the average. The analysis indicated that insertions crossing the bulbospongiosus presented a targeting error lower than the average. The mixed-model analysis demonstrated that the distance between the needle guide and the patient skin, the deviation at the entry point, and the path length inside the pelvic diaphragm had a statistically significant contribution to the targeting error (p < 0.05). Our results indicate that the errors associated with the elastic contact between the needle and the skin were more prominent than the needle bending along the insertion. Our findings will help to improve the preoperative planning of transperineal prostate biopsies.
Patient-mounted needle guide devices for percutaneous ablation are vulnerable to patient motion. The objective of this study is to develop and evaluate a software system for an MRI-compatible patient-mounted needle guide device that can adaptively compensate for displacement of the device due to patient motion using a novel image-based automatic device-to-image registration technique. We have developed a software system for an MRI-compatible patient-mounted needle guide device for percutaneous ablation. It features fully-automated image-based device-to-image registration to track the device position, and a device controller to adjust the needle trajectory to compensate for the displacement of the device. We performed: (a) a phantom study using a clinical MR scanner to evaluate registration performance; (b) simulations using intraoperative time-series MR data acquired in 20 clinical cases of MRI-guided renal cryoablations to assess its impact on motion compensation; and (c) a pilot clinical study in three patients to test its feasibility during the clinical procedure. FRE, TRE, and success rate of device-to-image registration were [Formula: see text] mm, [Formula: see text] mm, and 98.3% for the phantom images. The simulation study showed that the motion compensation reduced the targeting error for needle placement from 8.2 mm to 5.4 mm (p < 0.0005) in patients under general anesthesia (GA), and from 14.4 mm to 10.0 mm ([Formula: see text]) in patients under monitored anesthesia care (MAC). The pilot study showed that the software registered the device successfully in a clinical setting. Our simulation study demonstrated that the software system could significantly improve targeting accuracy in patients treated under both MAC and GA. Intraprocedural image-based device-to-image registration was feasible.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is beneficial for imaging-guided procedures because it provides higher resolution images and better soft tissue contrast than computed tomography (CT), ultrasound, and X-ray. MRI can be used to streamline diagnostics and treatment because it does not require patients to be repositioned between scans of different areas of the body. It is even possible to use MRI to visualize, power, and control medical devices inside the human body to access remote locations and perform minimally invasive procedures. Therefore, MR conditional medical devices have the potential to improve a wide variety of medical procedures; this potential is explored in terms of practical considerations pertaining to clinical applications and the MRI environment. Recent advancements in this field are introduced with a review of clinically relevant research in the areas of interventional tools, endovascular microbots, and closed-loop controlled MRI robots. Challenges related to technology and clinical feasibility are discussed, including MRI based propulsion and control, navigation of medical devices through the human body, clinical adoptability, and regulatory issues. The development of MRI-powered medical devices is an emerging field, but the potential clinical impact of these devices is promising.
PURPOSE: Radiofrequency ablation for liver tumors (liver RFA) is widely performed under ultrasound guidance. However, discriminating between the tumor and the needle is often difficult because of cavitation caused by RFA-induced coagulation. An unclear ultrasound image can lead to complications and tumor residue. Therefore, image-guided navigation systems based on fiducial registration have been developed. Fiducial points are usually set on a patient's skin. But the use of internal fiducial points can improve the accuracy of navigation. In this study, a new device is introduced to use internal fiducial points using 2D US.
METHODS: 3D Slicer as the navigation software, Polaris Vicra as the position sensor, and two target tumors in a 3D abdominal phantom as puncture targets were used. Also, a new device that makes it possible to obtain tracking coordinates in the body was invented. First, two-dimensional reslice images from the CT images using 3D Slicer were built. A virtual needle was displayed on the two-dimensional reslice image, reflecting the movement of the actual needle after fiducial registration. A phantom experiment using three sets of fiducial point configurations: one conventional case using only surface points, and two cases in which the center of the target tumor was selected as a fiducial point was performed. For each configuration, one surgeon punctured each target tumor ten times under guidance from the 3D Slicer display. Finally, a statistical analysis examining the puncture error was performed.
RESULTS: The puncture error for each target tumor decreased significantly when the center of the target tumor was included as one of the fiducial points, compared with when only surface points were used.
CONCLUSION: This study introduces a new device to use internal fiducial points and suggests that the accuracy of image-guided navigation systems for liver RFA can be improved by using the new device.
PURPOSE: Origami-based biomedical device design is an emerging technology due to its ability to be deployed from a minimal foldable pattern to a larger volume. This paper aims to review state-of-the-art origami structures applied in the medical device field.
METHODS: Publications and reports of origami structure related to medical device design from the past 10 years are reviewed and categorized according to engineering specifications, including the application field, fabrication material, size/volume, deployment method, manufacturability, and advantages.
RESULTS: This paper presents an overview of the biomedical applications of devices based on origami structures, including disposable sterilization covers, cardiac catheterization, stent grafts, encapsulation and microsurgery, gastrointestinal microsurgery, laparoscopic surgical grippers, microgrippers, microfluidic devices, and drug delivery. Challenges in terms of materials and fabrication, assembly, modeling and computation design, and clinical adoptability are discussed at the end of this paper to provide guidance for future origami-based design in the medical device field.
CONCLUSION: Concepts from origami can be used to design and develop novel medical devices. Origami-based medical device design is currently progressing, with researchers improving design methods, materials, fabrication techniques, and folding efficiency.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) provides both anatomical imaging with excellent soft tissue contrast and functional MRI imaging (fMRI) of physiological parameters. The last two decades have witnessed the manifestation of increased interest in MRI-guided minimally invasive intervention procedures and fMRI for rehabilitation and neuroscience research. Accompanying the aspiration to utilize MRI to provide imaging feedback during interventions and brain activity for neuroscience study, there is an accumulated effort to utilize force sensors compatible with the MRI environment to meet the growing demand of these procedures, with the goal of enhanced interventional safety and accuracy, improved efficacy and rehabilitation outcome. This paper summarizes the fundamental principles, the state of the art development and challenges of fiber optic force sensors for MRI-guided interventions and rehabilitation. It provides an overview of MRI-compatible fiber optic force sensors based on different sensing principles, including light intensity modulation, wavelength modulation, and phase modulation. Extensive design prototypes are reviewed to illustrate the detailed implementation of these principles. Advantages and disadvantages of the sensor designs are compared and analyzed. A perspective on the future development of fiber optic sensors is also presented which may have additional broad clinical applications. Future surgical interventions or rehabilitation will rely on intelligent force sensors to provide situational awareness to augment or complement human perception in these procedures.
PURPOSE: We designed and built dedicated active magnetic resonance (MR)-tracked (MRTR) stylets. We explored the role of MRTR in a prospective clinical trial.
METHODS AND MATERIALS: Eleven gynecologic cancer patients underwent MRTR to rapidly optimize interstitial catheter placement. MRTR catheter tip location and orientation were computed and overlaid on images displayed on in-room monitors at rates of 6 to 16 frames per second. Three modes of actively tracked navigation were analyzed: coarse navigation to the approximate region around the tumor; fine-tuning, bringing the stylets to the desired location; and pullback, with MRTR stylets rapidly withdrawn from within the catheters, providing catheter trajectories for radiation treatment planning (RTP). Catheters with conventional stylets were inserted, forming baseline locations. MRTR stylets were substituted, and catheter navigation was performed by a clinician working inside the MRI bore, using monitor feedback.
RESULTS: Coarse navigation allowed repositioning of the MRTR catheters tips by 16 mm (mean), relative to baseline, in 14 ± 5 s/catheter (mean ± standard deviation [SD]). The fine-tuning mode repositioned the catheter tips by a further 12 mm, in 24 ± 17 s/catheter. Pullback mode provided catheter trajectories with RTP point resolution of ∼1.5 mm, in 1 to 9 s/catheter.
CONCLUSIONS: MRTR-based navigation resulted in rapid and optimal placement of interstitial brachytherapy catheters. Catheters were repositioned compared with the initial insertion without tracking. In pullback mode, catheter trajectories matched computed tomographic precision, enabling their use for RTP.
PURPOSE: With the growing interest in advanced image-guidance for surgical robot systems, rapid integration and testing of robotic devices and medical image computing software are becoming essential in the research and development. Maximizing the use of existing engineering resources built on widely accepted platforms in different fields, such as robot operating system (ROS) in robotics and 3D Slicer in medical image computing could simplify these tasks. We propose a new open network bridge interface integrated in ROS to ensure seamless cross-platform data sharing.
METHODS: A ROS node named ROS-IGTL-Bridge was implemented. It establishes a TCP/IP network connection between the ROS environment and external medical image computing software using the OpenIGTLink protocol. The node exports ROS messages to the external software over the network and vice versa simultaneously, allowing seamless and transparent data sharing between the ROS-based devices and the medical image computing platforms.
RESULTS: Performance tests demonstrated that the bridge could stream transforms, strings, points, and images at 30 fps in both directions successfully. The data transfer latency was <1.2 ms for transforms, strings and points, and 25.2 ms for color VGA images. A separate test also demonstrated that the bridge could achieve 900 fps for transforms. Additionally, the bridge was demonstrated in two representative systems: a mock image-guided surgical robot setup consisting of 3D slicer, and Lego Mindstorms with ROS as a prototyping and educational platform for IGT research; and the smart tissue autonomous robot surgical setup with 3D Slicer.
CONCLUSION: The study demonstrated that the bridge enabled cross-platform data sharing between ROS and medical image computing software. This will allow rapid and seamless integration of advanced image-based planning/navigation offered by the medical image computing software such as 3D Slicer into ROS-based surgical robot systems.
PURPOSE: Image-guided cryotherapy of renal cancer is an emerging alternative to surgical nephrectomy, particularly for those who cannot sustain the physical burden of surgery. It is well known that the outcome of this therapy depends on the accurate placement of the cryotherapy probe. Therefore, a robotic instrument guide may help physicians aim the cryotherapy probe precisely to maximize the efficacy of the treatment and avoid damage to critical surrounding structures. The objective of this paper was to propose a robotic instrument guide for orienting cryotherapy probes in image-guided cryotherapy of renal cancers. The authors propose a body-mounted robotic guide that is expected to be less susceptible to guidance errors caused by the patient's whole body motion.
METHODS: Keeping the device's minimal footprint in mind, the authors developed and validated a body-mounted, robotic instrument guide that can maintain the geometrical relationship between the device and the patient's body, even in the presence of the patient's frequent body motions. The guide can orient the cryotherapy probe with the skin incision point as the remote-center-of-motion. The authors' validation studies included an evaluation of the mechanical accuracy and position repeatability of the robotic instrument guide. The authors also performed a mock MRI-guided cryotherapy procedure with a phantom to compare the advantage of robotically assisted probe replacements over a free-hand approach, by introducing organ motions to investigate their effects on the accurate placement of the cryotherapy probe. Measurements collected for performance analysis included accuracy and time taken for probe placements. Multivariate analysis was performed to assess if either or both organ motion and the robotic guide impacted these measurements.
RESULTS: The mechanical accuracy and position repeatability of the probe placement using the robotic instrument guide were 0.3 and 0.1 mm, respectively, at a depth of 80 mm. The phantom test indicated that the accuracy of probe placement was significantly better with the robotic instrument guide (4.1 mm) than without the guide (6.3 mm, p<0.001), even in the presence of body motion. When independent organ motion was artificially added, in addition to body motion, the advantage of accurate probe placement using the robotic instrument guide disappeared statistically [i.e., 6.0 mm with the robotic guide and 5.9 mm without the robotic guide (p = 0.906)]. When the robotic instrument guide was used, the total time required to complete the procedure was reduced from 19.6 to 12.7 min (p<0.001). Multivariable analysis indicated that the robotic instrument guide, not the organ motion, was the cause of statistical significance. The statistical power the authors obtained was 88% in accuracy assessment and 99% higher in duration measurement.
CONCLUSIONS: The body-mounted robotic instrument guide allows positioning of the probe during image-guided cryotherapy of renal cancer and was done in fewer attempts and in less time than the free-hand approach. The accuracy of the placement of the cryotherapy probe was better using the robotic instrument guide than without the guide when no organ motion was present. The accuracy between the robotic and free-hand approach becomes comparable when organ motion was present.
A biomarker of cancer aggressiveness, such as hypoxia, could substantially impact treatment decisions in the prostate, especially radiation therapy, by balancing treatment morbidity (urinary incontinence, erectile dysfunction, etc.) against mortality. R2 (*) mapping with Mono-Exponential (ME) decay modeling has shown potential for identifying areas of prostate cancer hypoxia at 1.5T. However, Gaussian deviations from ME decay have been observed in other tissues at 3T. The purpose of this study is to assess whether gradient-echo signal decays are better characterized by a standard ME decay model, or a Gaussian Augmentation of the Mono-Exponential (GAME) decay model, in the prostate at 3T. Multi-gradient-echo signals were acquired on 20 consecutive patients with a clinical suspicion of prostate cancer undergoing MR-guided prostate biopsies. Data were fitted with both ME and GAME models. The information contents of these models were compared using Akaike's information criterion (second order, AICC ), in skeletal muscle, the prostate central gland (CG), and peripheral zone (PZ) regions of interest (ROIs). The GAME model had higher information content in 30% of the prostate on average (across all patients and ROIs), covering up to 67% of cancerous PZ ROIs, and up to 100% of cancerous CG ROIs (in individual patients). The higher information content of GAME became more prominent in regions that would be assumed hypoxic using ME alone, reaching 50% of the PZ and 70% of the CG as ME R2 (*) approached 40 s(-1) . R2 (*) mapping may have important applications in MRI; however, information lost due to modeling could mask differences in parameters due to underlying tissue anatomy or physiology. The GAME model improves characterization of signal behavior in the prostate at 3T, and may increase the potential for determining correlates of fit parameters with biomarkers, for example of oxygenation status.