Automatic 3D-to-2D registration for CT and dual-energy digital radiography for calcification detection

Xiang Chen, Robert C. Gilkeson, Baowei Fei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


We are investigating three-dimensional (3D) to two-dimensional (2D) registration methods for computed tomography (CT) and dual-energy digital radiography (DEDR). CT is an established tool for the detection of cardiac calcification. DEDR could be a cost-effective alternative screening tool. In order to utilize CT as the "gold standard" to evaluate the capability of DEDR images for the detection and localization of calcium, we developed an automatic, intensity-based 3D-to-2D registration method for 3D CT volumes and 2D DEDR images. To generate digitally reconstructed radiography (DRR) from the CT volumes, we developed several projection algorithms using the fast shear-warp method. In particular, we created a Gaussian-weighted projection for this application. We used normalized mutual information (NMI) as the similarity measurement. Simulated projection images from CT values were fused with the corresponding DEDR images to evaluate the localization of cardiac calcification. The registration method was evaluated by digital phantoms, physical phantoms, and clinical data sets. The results from the digital phantoms show that the success rate is 100% with a translation difference of less than 0.8 mm and a rotation difference of less than 0.2°. For physical phantom images, the registration accuracy is 0.43±0.24 mm. Color overlay and 3D visualization of clinical images show that the two images registered well. The NMI values between the DRR and DEDR images improved from 0.21±0.03 before registration to 0.25±0.03 after registration. Registration errors measured from anatomic markers decreased from 27.6±13.6 mm before registration to 2.5±0.5 mm after registration. Our results show that the automatic 3D-to-2D registration is accurate and robust. This technique can provide a useful tool for correlating DEDR with CT images for screening coronary artery calcification.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4934-4943
Number of pages10
JournalMedical physics
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • 3D-to-2D registration
  • Cardiac calcification
  • Computed tomography (CT)
  • Coronary artery diseases (CADs)
  • Dual-energy digital radiography (DEDR)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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