Enhanced Reality Visualization in a Surgical Environment
Enhanced reality visualization is the process of enhancing an image by adding to it information which is not present in the original image. A wide variety of information can be added to an image ranging from hidden lines or surfaces to textual or iconic data about a particular part of the image. Enhanced reality visualization is particularly well suited to neurosurgery. By rendering brain structures which are not visible, at the correct location in an image of a patient's head, the surgeon is essentially provided with X-ray vision. He can visualize the spatial relationship between brain structures before he performs a craniotomy and during the surgery he can see what's under the next layer before he cuts through. Given a video image of the patient and a three dimensional model of the patient's brain the problem enhanced reality visualization faces is to render the model from the correct viewpoint and overlay it on the original image. The relationship between the coordinate frames of the patient, the patient's internal anatomy scans and the image plane of the camera observing the patient must be established. This problem is closely related to the camera calibration problem. This report presents a new approach to finding this relationship and develops a system for performing enhanced reality visualization in a surgical environment. Immediately prior to surgery a few circular fiducials are placed near the surgical site. An initial registration of video and internal data is performed using a laser scanner. Following this, our method is fully automatic, runs in nearly real-time, is accurate to within a pixel, allows both patient and camera motion, automatically corrects for changes to the internal camera parameters (focal length, focus, aperture, etc.) and requires only a single image.