Fujitsu Develops Technology to Accurately Align Nodules within CT scan Images Taken Over Time
Fujitsu has developed a technology for the highly precise alignment of nodules, or growths of cells, within computed tomography (CT) images taken of the same patient on different dates. When screening for cancer or monitoring for the changes to the nodule over time, in order to monitor changes in a patient’s nodule, doctors compare images taken from the same patient on different dates. For detailed monitoring, doctors manually indicate the position of the nodule for which they would like a magnified view, and they also display a magnified image of the reference nodule used for comparison. When doing so, because a patient’s heartbeat and breathing shift the position of the nodule from the previous CT image, doctors must go through the cumbersome process of taking multiple cross-section images to find a match, and then manually align the position of the nodule using the cross-sections.
Fujitsu has now developed a technology that very accurately aligns these images using not only nearby blood vessels, but also those located over a larger area as reference points, even when there are few blood vessels nearby. This new technology was found to be able to align a nodule’s position to an error margin of less than 2.5 mm, the level needed for practical use, in approximately 80% of cases, up from the roughly 30% of the conventional method. Applying this technology can reduce the time needed to align images, and potentially contribute to lightening the workload on doctors.