Real-time bladder lesion registration and navigation: a phantom study
Agenant M, Noordmans HJ, Koomen W, Bosch JL. PLoS One. 2013;8(1):e54348. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0054348. Epub 2013 Jan 24.


Department of Urology, University Medical Centre Utrecht (UMCU), Utrecht, The Netherlands.



Bladder cancer is the fourth most common malignancy in men, with a recurrence rate of 33-64%. Tumor documentation during cystoscopy of the bladder is suboptimal and might play a role in these high recurrence rates.


In this project, a bladder registration and navigation system was developed to improve bladder tumor documentation and consequently increase reproducibility of the cystoscopy.


The bladder registration and navigation system consists of a stereo-tracker that tracks the location of a newly developed target, which is attached to the endoscope during cystoscopy. With this information the urology registration and navigation software is able to register the 3D position of a lesion of interest. Simultaneously, the endoscopic image is captured in order to combine it with this 3D position. To enable navigation, navigational cues are displayed on the monitor, which subsequently direct the cystoscopist to the previously registered lesion. To test the system, a rigid and a flexible bladder phantom was developed. The system's robustness was tested by measuring the accuracy of registering and navigating the lesions. Different calibration procedures were compared. It was also tested whether system accuracy is limited by using a previously saved calibration, to avoid surgical delay due to calibration. Urological application was tested by comparing a rotational camera (fixed to the rotating endoscope) to a non-rotational camera (dangling by gravity) used in standard urologic practice. Finally, the influence of volume differences on registering and navigating was tested.


The bladder registration and navigation system has an acceptable accuracy for bladder lesion registration and navigation. Limitations for patient determinants included changes in bladder volume and bladder deformation. In vivo studies are required to measure the effect of these limitations and functionality in urological practice as a tool to increase reproducibility of the cystoscopy.