In vivo estimation of target registration errors during augmented reality laparoscopic surgery

Stephen Thompson*, Crispin Schneider, Michele Bosi, Kurinchi Gurusamy, Sébastien Ourselin, Brian Davidson, David Hawkes, Matthew J. Clarkson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Successful use of augmented reality for laparoscopic surgery requires that the surgeon has a thorough understanding of the likely accuracy of any overlay. Whilst the accuracy of such systems can be estimated in the laboratory, it is difficult to extend such methods to the in vivo clinical setting. Herein we describe a novel method that enables the surgeon to estimate in vivo errors during use. We show that the method enables quantitative evaluation of in vivo data gathered with the SmartLiver image guidance system. Methods: The SmartLiver system utilises an intuitive display to enable the surgeon to compare the positions of landmarks visible in both a projected model and in the live video stream. From this the surgeon can estimate the system accuracy when using the system to locate subsurface targets not visible in the live video. Visible landmarks may be either point or line features. We test the validity of the algorithm using an anatomically representative liver phantom, applying simulated perturbations to achieve clinically realistic overlay errors. We then apply the algorithm to in vivo data. Results: The phantom results show that using projected errors of surface features provides a reliable predictor of subsurface target registration error for a representative human liver shape. Applying the algorithm to in vivo data gathered with the SmartLiver image-guided surgery system shows that the system is capable of accuracies around 12 mm; however, achieving this reliably remains a significant challenge. Conclusion: We present an in vivo quantitative evaluation of the SmartLiver image-guided surgery system, together with a validation of the evaluation algorithm. This is the first quantitative in vivo analysis of an augmented reality system for laparoscopic surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)865-874
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Computer Assisted Radiology and Surgery
Issue number6
Early online date16 Apr 2018
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018


  • Augmented reality
  • Error measurement
  • Image-guided surgery
  • Laparoscope
  • Liver
  • Validation


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