Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department



Dr. David M. Kwartowitz

Committee Member

Dr. Delphine Dean

Committee Member

Dr. Dan Simonescu

Committee Member

Dr. G. Hamilton Baker


Congenital heart disease occurs in 107.6 out of 10,000 live births, with Atrial Septal Defects (ASD) accounting for 10\% of these conditions. Historically, ASDs were treated with open heart surgery using cardiopulmonary bypass, allowing a patch to be sewn over the defect. In 1976, King et al. demonstrated use of a transcatheter occlusion procedure, thus reducing the invasiveness of ASD repair. Localization during these catheter based procedures traditionally has relied on bi-plane fluoroscopy; more recently trans-esophageal echocardiography (TEE) and intra-cardiac echocardiography (ICE) have been used to navigate these procedures. Although there is a high success rate using the transcatheter occlusion procedure, fluoroscopy poses radiation dose risk to both patient and clinician. The impact of this dose to the patients is important as many of those undergoing this procedure are children, who have an increased risk associated with radiation exposure. Their longer life expectancy than adults provides a larger window of opportunity for expressing the damaging effects of ionizing radiation. In addition, epidemiologic studies of exposed populations have demonstrated that children are considerably more sensitive to the carcinogenic effects radiation. Image-guided surgery (IGS) uses pre-operative and intra-operative images to guide surgery or an interventional procedure. Central to every IGS system is a software application capable of processing and displaying patient images, registration between multiple coordinate systems, and interfacing with a tool tracking system. We have developed a novel image-guided surgery framework called Kit for Navigation by Image Focused Exploration (KNIFE). This software system serves as the core technology by which a system for reduction of radiation exposure to pediatric patients was developed. The bulk of the initial work in this research endevaour was the development of KNIFE which itself went through countless iterations before arriving at its current state as per the feature requirements established. Secondly, since this work involved the use of captured medical images and their use in an IGS software suite, a brief analysis of the physics behind the images was conducted. Through this aspect of the work, intrinsic parameters (principal point and focal point) of the fluoroscope were quantified using a 3D grid calibration phantom. A second grid phantom was traversed through the fluoroscopic imaging volume of II and flat panel based systems at 2 cm intervals building a scatter field of the volume to demonstrate pincushion and 'S' distortion in the images. Effects of projection distortion on the images was assessed by measuring the fiducial registration error (FRE) of each point used in two different registration techniques, where both methods utilized ordinary procrustes analysis but the second used a projection matrix built from the fluoroscopes calculated intrinsic parameters. A case study was performed to test whether the projection registration outperforms the rigid transform only. Using the knowledge generated were able to successfully design and complete mock clinical procedures using cardiac phantom models. These mock trials at the beginning of this work used a single point to represent catheter location but this was eventually replaced with a full shape model that offered numerous advantages. At the conclusion of this work a novel protocol for conducting IG ASD procedures was developed. Future work would involve the construction of novel EM tracked tools, phantom models for other vascular diseases and finally clinical integration and use.

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