Simulation and Training of Lumbar Punctures Using Haptic Volume Rendering and a 6DOF Haptic Device

Matthias Färber, Julika Heller, Heinz Handels


The lumbar puncture is performed by inserting a needle into the spinal chord of the patient to inject medicaments or to extract liquor. The training of this procedure is usually done on the patient guided by experienced supervisors. A virtual reality lumbar puncture simulator has been developed in order to minimize the training costs and the patient's risk. We use a haptic device with six degrees of freedom (6DOF) to feedback forces that resist needle insertion and rotation. An improved haptic volume rendering approach is used to calculate the forces. This approach makes use of label data of relevant structures like skin, bone, muscles or fat and original CT data that contributes information about image structures that can not be segmented. A real-time 3D visualization with optional stereo view shows the punctured region. 2D visualizations of orthogonal slices enable a detailed impression of the anatomical context. The input data consisting of CT and label data and surface models of relevant structures is defined in an XML file together with haptic rendering and visualization parameters. In a first evaluation the visible human male data has been used to generate a virtual training body. Several users with different medical experience tested the lumbar puncture trainer. The simulator gives a good haptic and visual impression of the needle insertion and the haptic volume rendering technique enables the feeling of unsegmented structures. Especially, the restriction of transversal needle movement together with rotation constraints enabled by the 6DOF device facilitate a realistic puncture simulation.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMedical Imaging 2007: Visualization and Image-Guided Procedures
Number of pages8
Publication date15.10.2007
Article number65090F
ISBN (Print)978-081946627-3
Publication statusPublished - 15.10.2007
EventMedical Imaging 2007: Image Processing - San Diego, United States
Duration: 17.02.200722.02.2007
Conference number: 70570


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