Localization Of Biliary Tree Structures By Use Of Photon Diffusion Models
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A novel computational methodology is proposed for the intraoperative localization of biliary tree structures by means of spectrally resolved near-infrared reflectance measurements. As these structures are embedded in fatty tissue, they cannot be visualized directly, which results in inadvertent injuries during a cholecystectomy operation. Localizing the biliary tree intraoperatively is therefore an important clinical problem. Successful clinical implementation of an imaging system which could attain this goal would reduce surgical time, improve patient safety, and minimize the risk of complications and expenses attributable to the current standard practice of intraoperative cholangiography. It is hoped that the work presented here will contribute to the attainment of this important clinical goal: We describe novel computational approaches that could be applied on existing spectrally resolved reflectance data to estimate the location, both on the fatty tissue surface and depth-wise, of blood vessels and of the bile duct. The proposed localization methods have been tested and validated in simulation. The next step is to further test them in the lab and in the operating theater.