Towards development of automatic path planning system in image-guided neurosurgery
With the advent of advanced computer technology, many computer-aided systems have evolved to assist in medical related work including treatment, diagnosis, and even surgery. In modern neurosurgery, Magnetic Resonance Image guided stereotactic surgery exactly complies with this trend. It is a minimally invasive operation being much safer than the traditional open-skull surgery, and offers higher precision and more effective operating procedures compared to conventional craniotomy. However, such operations still face significant challenges of planning the optimal neurosurgical path in order to reach the ideal position without damage to important internal structures. This research aims to address this major challenge. The work begins with an investigation of the problem of distortion induced by MR images. It then goes on to build a template of the Circle of Wills brain vessels, realized from a collection of Magnetic Resonance Angiography images, which is needed to maintain operating standards when, as in many cases, Magnetic Resonance Angiography images are not available for patients. Demographic data of brain tumours are also studied to obtain further understanding of diseased human brains through the development of an effect classifier. The developed system allows the internal brain structure to be ‘seen’ clearly before the surgery, giving surgeons a clear picture and thereby makes a significant contribution to the eventual development of a fully automatic path planning system.
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