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Evaluation of advanced Lukas–Kanade optical flow on thoracic 4D-CT

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Extensive use of high frequency imaging in medical applications permit the estimation of velocity fields which corresponds to motion of landmarks in the imaging field. The focus of this work is on the development of a robust local optical flow algorithm for velocity field estimation in medical applications. Local polynomial fits to the medical image intensity-maps are used to generate convolution operators to estimate the spatial gradients. A novel polynomial window function with a compact support is used to differentially weight the optical flow gradient constraints in the region of interest. Tikhonov regularization is exploited to synthesize a well posed optimization problem and to penalize large displacements. The proposed algorithm is tested and validated on benchmark datasets for deformable image registration. The ten datasets include large and small deformations, and illustrate that the proposed algorithm outperforms or is competitive with other algorithms tested on this dataset, when using mean and variance of the displacement error as performance metrics.

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  1. The author would like to acknowledge the help of Richard Castillo, MS who processed the result of our algorithm and provided feedback regarding its performance.

  2. Figure created using renderings provided by Richard Castillo, MS, The University of Texas M D Anderson Cancer Center

  3. Note that this analysis was carried out using the publicly available dataset of 300 landmarks per case. Thus, the numerical values of “Polynomial Filter + Inverse Flow” differ from the values of “ALK” in Table 2 and Figs. 3 and 4. Those were obtained in the final, external analysis using the (non-public) comprehensive dataset.


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The authors would like to acknowledge the help of Richard Castillo, MS who processed the result of our algorithm and assessed its performance. The authors would like to thank the National Science Foundation, which funded this project under grant CMMI-#0928630. C. Hoog Antink also would like to thank Fulbright and the German National Academic Foundation for partial funding. The authors have no financial relationship with the National Science Foundation which funded the research, the results of which are presented in this paper.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Correspondence to Tarunraj Singh.

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Hoog Antink, C.B., Singh, T., Singla, P. et al. Evaluation of advanced Lukas–Kanade optical flow on thoracic 4D-CT. J Clin Monit Comput 27, 433–441 (2013).

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