Fully automated deformable registration of breast DCE-MRI and PET/CT.
Accurate characterization of breast tumors is important for the appropriate selection of therapy and monitoring of the response. For this purpose breast imaging and tissue biopsy are important aspects. In this study, a fully automated method for deformable registration of DCE-MRI and PET/CT of the breast is presented. The registration is performed using the CT component of the PET/CT and the pre-contrast T1-weighted non-fat suppressed MRI. Comparable patient setup protocols were used during the MRI and PET examinations in order to avoid having to make assumptions of biomedical properties of the breast during and after the application of chemotherapy. The registration uses a multi-resolution approach to speed up the process and to minimize the probability of converging to local minima. The validation was performed on 140 breasts (70 patients). From a total number of registration cases, 94.2% of the breasts were aligned within 4.0 mm accuracy (1 PET voxel). Fused information may be beneficial to obtain representative biopsy samples, which in turn will benefit the treatment of the patient.