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Open Access Research article

Multimodal image registration of the scoliotic torso for surgical planning

Rola Harmouche12*, Farida Cheriet12, Hubert Labelle2 and Jean Dansereau12

Author Affiliations

1 École Polytechnique de Montréal. 2500, chemin de Polytechnique, Montreal, H3T 1J4, Canada

2 Hôpital Ste-Justine 3175, Chemin de la Côte-Sainte-Catherine, Montreal, H3T 1C5, Canada

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BMC Medical Imaging 2013, 13:1  doi:10.1186/1471-2342-13-1

Published: 4 January 2013



This paper presents a method that registers MRIs acquired in prone position, with surface topography (TP) and X-ray reconstructions acquired in standing position, in order to obtain a 3D representation of a human torso incorporating the external surface, bone structures, and soft tissues.


TP and X-ray data are registered using landmarks. Bone structures are used to register each MRI slice using an articulated model, and the soft tissue is confined to the volume delimited by the trunk and bone surfaces using a constrained thin-plate spline.


The method is tested on 3 pre-surgical patients with scoliosis and shows a significant improvement, qualitatively and using the Dice similarity coefficient, in fitting the MRI into the standing patient model when compared to rigid and articulated model registration. The determinant of the Jacobian of the registration deformation shows higher variations in the deformation in areas closer to the surface of the torso.


The novel, resulting 3D full torso model can provide a more complete representation of patient geometry to be incorporated in surgical simulators under development that aim at predicting the effect of scoliosis surgery on the external appearance of the patient’s torso.