A fast inverse consistent deformable image registration method based on symmetric optical flow computation

Deshan Yang, Hua Li, Daniel A. Low, Joseph O. Deasy, Issam El Naqa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

96 Scopus citations


Deformable image registration is widely used in various radiation therapy applications including daily treatment planning adaptation to map planned tissue or dose to changing anatomy. In this work, a simple and efficient inverse consistency deformable registration method is proposed with aims of higher registration accuracy and faster convergence speed. Instead of registering image I to a second image J, the two images are symmetrically deformed toward one another in multiple passes, until both deformed images are matched and correct registration is therefore achieved. In each pass, a delta motion field is computed by minimizing a symmetric optical flow system cost function using modified optical flow algorithms. The images are then further deformed with the delta motion field in the positive and negative directions respectively, and then used for the next pass. The magnitude of the delta motion field is forced to be less than 0.4 voxel for every pass in order to guarantee smoothness and invertibility for the two overall motion fields that are accumulating the delta motion fields in both positive and negative directions, respectively. The final motion fields to register the original images I and J, in either direction, are calculated by inverting one overall motion field and combining the inversion result with the other overall motion field. The final motion fields are inversely consistent and this is ensured by the symmetric way that registration is carried out. The proposed method is demonstrated with phantom images, artificially deformed patient images and 4D-CT images. Our results suggest that the proposed method is able to improve the overall accuracy (reducing registration error by 30% or more, compared to the original and inversely inconsistent optical flow algorithms), reduce the inverse consistency error (by 95% or more) and increase the convergence rate (by 100% or more). The overall computation speed may slightly decrease, or increase in most cases because the new method converges faster. Compared to previously reported inverse consistency algorithms, the proposed method is simpler, easier to implement and more efficient.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6143-6165
Number of pages23
JournalPhysics in medicine and biology
Issue number21
StatePublished - Nov 7 2008


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