SCreg: a registration-based platform to compare unicondylar knee arthroplasty SPECT/CT scansDandois, F., De Buck, S., Beckers, L. et al.
A combination of conventional computed tomography and single photon emitted computed tomography (SPECT/CT) provides simultaneous data on the intensity and location of osteoblastic activity. Currently, since SPECT/CT scans are not spatially aligned, scans following knee arthroplasty are compared by extracting average and maximal values of osteoblastic activity intensity from large subregions of the structure of interest, which leads to a loss of resolution, and hence, information. Therefore, this paper describes the SPECT/CT registration platform (SCreg) based on the principle of image registration to spatially align SPECT/CT scans following unicondylar knee arthroplasty (UKA) and allow full resolution intra-subject and inter-subject comparisons.
SPECT-CT scans of 20 patients were acquired before and 1 year after UKA. Firstly, scans were pre-processed to account for differences in voxel sizes and divided in volumes of interest. This was followed by optimization of registration parameters according to their volumetric agreement, and alignment using a combination of rigid, affine and non-rigid registration. Finally, radiotracer uptakes were normalized, and differences between pre-operative and post-operative activity were computed for each voxel. Wilcoxon signed rank sum test was performed to compare Dice similarity coefficients pre- and post-registration.
Qualitative and quantitative validation of the platform assessing the correct alignment of SPECT/CT scans resulted in Dice similarity coefficient values over 80% and distances between predefined anatomical landmarks below the fixed threshold of (2;2;0) voxels. Locations of increased and decreased osteoblastic activity obtained during comparisons of osteoblastic activity before and after UKA were mainly consistent with literature.
Thus, a full resolution comparison performed on the platform could assist surgeons and engineers in optimizing surgical parameters in view of bone remodeling, thereby improving UKA survivorship.