Marker removal for C-arm pose estimation based bronchoscope navigation using image inpainting
Using marker-based C-arm pose estimation during bronchoscopy in combination with a preoperative CT segmentation of the bronchial tree, the 3D spatial position of the bronchoscope tip inside the airways can be determined. Naturally, the markers used for pose estimation appear on the fluoroscopy images, which can be disturbing for the physician's view. To address this issue, we deploy inpainting to remove the reprojected markers from the fluoroscopy. The method was applied to phantom and cadaver images acquired from almost 50 different C-arm poses in total. Pose estimation was successful in 95.7% of the test cases. Employing our inpainting method to these cases resulted in thourough removal of all markers in the fluoroscopy thereby ostensibly preserving anatomy structures.