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We present an image overlay system to aid needle insertion procedures in computed tomography (CT) scanners. The device consists of a display and a semitransparent mirror that is mounted on the gantry. Looking at the patient through the mirror, the CT image appears to be floating inside the patient with correct size and position, thereby providing the physician with two-dimensional (2-D) "X-ray vision" to guide needle insertions. The physician inserts the needle following the optimal path identified in the CT image rendered on the display and, thus, reflected in the mirror. The system promises to reduce X-ray dose, patient discomfort, and procedure time by significantly reducing faulty insertion attempts. It may also increase needle placement accuracy. We report the design and implementation of the image overlay system followed by the results of phantom and cadaver experiments in several clinical applications.
Date of Publication: Aug. 2005