An Augmented Reality System for Epidural Anesthesia (AREA): Prepuncture Identification of Vertebrae.

IEEE transactions on bio-medical engineering

PubMedID: 23674416

Al-Deen Ashab H, Lessoway VA, Khallaghi S, Cheng A, Rohling R, Abolmaesumi P. An Augmented Reality System for Epidural Anesthesia (AREA): Prepuncture Identification of Vertebrae. IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 2013;60(9):2636-44.
We propose an augmented reality system to identify lumbar vertebral levels to assist in spinal needle insertion for epidural anesthesia. These procedures require careful placement of a needle to ensure effective delivery of anesthetics and to avoid damaging sensitive tissue such as nerves. In this system, a trinocular camera tracks an ultrasound transducer during the acquisition of a sequence of B-mode images. The system generates an ultrasound panorama image of the lumbar spine, automatically identifies the lumbar levels in the panorama image, and overlays the identified levels on a live camera view of the patient's back. Validation is performed to test the accuracy of panorama generation, lumbar level identification, overall system accuracy, and the effect of changes in the curvature of the spine during the examination. The results from 17 subjects demonstrate the feasibility and capability of achieving an error within clinically acceptable range for epidural anaesthesia.