Colonoscopic 3D reconstruction by tubular non-rigid structure-from-motion



The visual examination of colonoscopic images fails to extract precise geometric information of the colonic surface. Reconstructing the 3D surface of the colon from colonoscopic image sequences may thus add valuable clinical information. We address this problem of extracting precise spatio-temporal 3D structure information from colonoscopic images.


Using just the intrinsically calibrated monocular image stream, we develop a technique to compute the depth of certain feature points that have been tracked across images. Our method uses the prior knowledge of an approximate geometry of the colon, called the (TTP). It works by fitting a deformable cylindrical model to points reconstructed independently by non-rigid structure-from-motion (NRSfM), compromising between the data term and a novel tubular smoothing prior. Our method represents the first method ever to exploit a very weak topological prior to improve NRSfM. As such, it lies in-between standard NRSfM, which does not use a topological prior beyond the mere plane, and shape-from-template (SfT), which uses a very strong prior as a full deformable 3D object model.


We validate our method on both synthetic images of tubular structures and real colonoscopic data. Our method improves the results obtained by existing NRSfM methods by 71.74% on average on synthetic data and succeeds in obtaining 3D reconstruction from a real colonoscopic sequence defeating the existing methods.


Colonoscopic 3D reconstruction is a difficult problem, which is yet unresolved by the existing methods from computer vision. Our proposed dedicated NRSfM method and experiments show that the visual motion might be the right visual cue to use in colonoscopy.

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Correspondence to Agniva Sengupta.

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This work was funded by the FET-Open grant 863146 Endomapper.

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Sengupta, A., Bartoli, A. Colonoscopic 3D reconstruction by tubular non-rigid structure-from-motion. Int J CARS 16, 1237–1241 (2021).

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  • Non-rigid structure-from-motion
  • 3D reconstruction
  • Colonoscopy