MITK-US: real-time ultrasound support within MITK

  • K. MärzEmail author
  • A. M. Franz
  • A. Seitel
  • A. Winterstein
  • R. Bendl
  • S. Zelzer
  • M. Nolden
  • H. -P. Meinzer
  • L. Maier-Hein
Original Article



   Intra-procedural acquisition of the patient anatomy is a key technique in the context of computer-assisted interventions (CAI). Ultrasound (US) offers major advantages as an interventional imaging modality because it is real time and low cost and does not expose the patient or physician to harmful radiation. To advance US-related research, the purpose of this paper was to develop and evaluate an open-source framework for US-based CAI applications.

Materials and methods

   We developed the open-source software module MITK-US for acquiring and processing US data as part of the well-known medical imaging interaction toolkit (MITK). To demonstrate its utility, we applied the module to implement a new concept for US-guided needle insertion. Performance of the US module was assessed by determining frame rate and latency for both a simple sample application and a more complex needle guidance system.


   MITK-US has successfully been used to implement both sample applications. Modern laptops achieve frame rates above 24 frames per second. Latency is measured to be approximately 250 ms or less.


   MITK-US can be considered a viable rapid prototyping environment for US-based CAI applications.


Ultrasound Open source Tracked ultrasound Computer-assisted interventions Ultrasound-guided interventions 



This work was carried out with the support of the German Research Foundation (DFG) as part of project A02, SFB/TRR 125 Cognition-Guided Surgery.

Conflict of interest

Keno März, Alfred M. Franz, Alexander Seitel, Adrian Winterstein, Rolf Bendl, Sascha Zelzer, Marco Nolden, Hans-Peter Meinzer and Lena Maier-Hein declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© CARS 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. März
    • 1
    Email author
  • A. M. Franz
    • 1
  • A. Seitel
    • 1
  • A. Winterstein
    • 1
  • R. Bendl
    • 1
    • 2
  • S. Zelzer
    • 1
  • M. Nolden
    • 1
  • H. -P. Meinzer
    • 1
  • L. Maier-Hein
    • 1
  1. 1.German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ)HeidelbergGermany
  2. 2.Medical InformaticsHeilbronn UniversityHeilbronnGermany

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