MR/CT image fusion of the spine after spondylodesis: a feasibility study

Karlo, C. ; Steurer-Dober, I. ; Leonardi, M. ; Pfirrmann, C. ; Zanetti, M. ; Hodler, J.

In: European Spine Journal, 2010, vol. 19, no. 10, p. 1771-1775

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    The objective of this study is to evaluate feasibility, accuracy and time requirements of MR/CT image fusion of the lumbar spine after spondylodesis. Sagittal MR and CT images derived from standard imaging protocols (sagittal T2-weighted MR/sagittal reformatted multi-planar-reformation of the CT) of the lumbar spine with correct (n=5) and incorrect (n=5) implant position were fused by two readers (R1, R2) using OsiriX in two sessions placing one (session 1) or two (session 2) reference point(s) on the dorsal tip(s) of the cranial and caudal endplates from the second lumbar to the first sacral vertebra. R1 was an experienced musculoskeletal radiologist; R2 a spine surgeon, both had received a short training on the software tool. Fusion times and fusion accuracy, defined as the largest deviation between MR and CT in the median sagittal plane on the ventral tip of the cranial end plate of the most cranial vertebra visible on the CT, were measured in both sessions. Correct or incorrect implant position was evaluated upon the fused images for all patients by an experienced senior staff musculoskeletal radiologist. Mean fusion time (session 1/session 2; in seconds) was 100.4/95 (R1) and 104.2/119.8 (R2). Mean fusion deviation (session 1/session 2; in mm) was 1.24/2.20 (R1) and 0.79/1.62 (R2). The correct/incorrect implant position was identified correctly in all cases. In conclusion, MR/CT image fusion of the spine with metallic implants is feasible, fast, accurate and easy to implement in daily routine work