Cochlear implant phantom for evaluating computed tomography acquisition parameters.

Chakravorti S, Bussey BJ, Zhao Y, Dawant BM, Labadie RF, Noble JH
J Med Imaging (Bellingham). 2017 4 (4): 045002

PMID: 29181432 · PMCID: PMC5689133 · DOI:10.1117/1.JMI.4.4.045002

Cochlear implants (CIs) are surgically implantable neuroprosthetic devices used to treat profound hearing loss. Recent literature indicates that there is a correlation between the final intracochlear positioning of the CI electrode arrays and the ultimate hearing outcome of the patient, indicating that further studies to better understand the relationship between electrode position and outcomes could have significant implications for future surgical techniques, array design, and processor programming methods. Postimplantation high-resolution computed tomography (CT) imaging is the best modality for localizing electrodes and provides the resolution necessary to visually identify electrode position, although with an unknown degree of accuracy depending on image acquisition parameters, like the hounsfield unit (HU) range of reconstruction, orientation, radiation dose, and image resolution. We report on the development of a phantom and on its use to study how four acquisition parameters, including image resolution and HU range of reconstruction, affect how accurately the true position of the electrodes can be found in a dataset of CT scans acquired from multiple helical and cone beam scanners. We also show how the phantom can be used to evaluate the effect of acquisition parameters on automatic electrode localization techniques.

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