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Ultrasound Guided Prostate and Spine Interventions

Purang Abolmaesumi, Ph.D., P.Eng., Professor, Canada Research Chair in Biomedical Engineering, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of British Columbia

Ultrasound Guided Prostate and Spine Interventions

  • CREATE-MIA Event
  • Seminar
When Jul 17, 2014
from 03:00 PM to 04:00 PM
Where McConnell Engineering MC437
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This talk presents a summary of our research on developing innovative systems for prostate cancer therapy, and spinal analgesia and anaesthesia.

Brachytherapy as one of the treatment methods for prostate cancer takes place by implantation of radioactive seeds inside the gland. Standard of care for this treatment procedure is to acquire transrectal ultrasound images from the prostate, which are further segmented, in order to create an appropriate seed placement plan. The segmentation process is usually performed either manually or semi-automatically and is associated with the subjective errors due to artefacts and low signal to noise ratio of the ultrasound images. In this talk, I will present a fully automatic segmentation algorithm, which uses a priori knowledge of contours in a large cohort of patients. In addition to enhancing the clinical workflow for planning the brachytherapy procedure, such automatic segmentation algorithm may enable intra-operative delineation of the prostate for real-time dosimetry.

I will also discuss enabling technologies that we have developed to guide needle insertion into the lumbar spine using ultrasound. The main application is facet joints and epidural/steroid injection for the relief of chronic back pain, and labour/analgesia. The anaesthesiologist is expected to use the system to choose a suitable puncture location, insert the needle at an appropriate angle and stop when the needle reaches the desired depth. The goal is to increase the confidence level by enabling an accurate needle placement on the first attempt, and hence reduce complications and pain for the patient. In current practice, the needle insertion is either done blindly, using palpation to choose a puncture site, or under fluoroscopy/CT guidance, which carry a high radiation dose risk to both patient and anaesthesiologist. I will present how we add real-time ultrasound capability to these procedures and display the ultrasound, pre-procedure CT or a statistical model of the spine, and needle trajectory to the anaesthesiologist.


Purang Abolmaesumi is the Canada Research Chair in Biomedical Engineering, a Killam Research Prize recipient, and a Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada. He is internationally recognized and has received numerous awards for his pioneering developments in ultrasound image processing, image registration and image-guided interventions. He is the General Chair of the International Conference on Information Processing in Computer Assisted Intervention, 2014-2016, and serves on the program committees of the Medical Image Computing and Computing and Computer Assisted Intervention (MICCAI) and International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE) Medical Imaging. Dr. Abolmaesumi is an Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging, and has served as an Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering. His techniques for prostate segmentation are currently the standard-of-care in British Columbia and have been used to treat more than 2,000 patients.

« January 2023 »
Funded by NSERC

Funding provided by NSERC