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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Computer assisted pelvic surgery: registration based on a modified external fixator.

A fundamental step in Computer Assisted Surgery ( CAS) is the registration, when the preoperative virtual data and the corresponding operative anatomy of the region of interest are merged. To provide exact landmarks for anatomical registration, a tubular external fixator was modified. Two intact pelvic bones (one artificial foam pelvis and one cadaver specimen) were used for the experimental setup. Registration was carried out using a standardized protocol for anatomy-based registration in the control group; anatomical registration was achieved using a modified external fixator in the study group. This external fixator had titanium fiducials wedged into the fixator carbon tubes serving as landmarks for paired-point registration. The tubes were used for surface registration. The standard anterior pelvis fixator assembly was augmented with additional bilateral tubes oriented towards the posterior, enabling registration of the sacroiliac areas. The accuracy of registration was checked by "reversed verification", where the examiner used only the screen display to control the virtual position of the pointer tip in relation to selected landmarks. By virtual matching, the real distance was measured with a digital caliper. We defined the verification as "accurate" when the residual distance was less than 1 mm; "acceptable" when it was between 1 mm and 2 mm; and "insufficient" when it exceeded 2 mm. The paired T-test with significance levels of p < 0.05 was used for statistical analysis. The anatomical registration based on the external fixator landmarks was statistically as accurate as that obtained using anatomical landmarks on the pelvic bone. This study concludes that the external fixator, a conventional tool in the management of acute traumatic pelvic instability, can also be useful for landmark registration in CAS.[1]


  1. Computer assisted pelvic surgery: registration based on a modified external fixator. Hüfner, T., Geerling, J., Kfuri, M., Gänsslen, A., Citak, M., Kirchhoff, T., Sott, A.H., Krettek, C. Comput. Aided Surg. (2003) [Pubmed]
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