Localization of neurosurgically implanted electrodes via photograph-MRI-radiograph coregistration

Sarang S. Dalal, Erik Edwards, Heidi E. Kirsch, Nicholas M. Barbaro, Robert T. Knight, Srikantan S. Nagarajan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

64 Scopus citations


Intracranial electroencephalography (iEEG) is clinically indicated for medically refractory epilepsy and is a promising approach for developing neural prosthetics. These recordings also provide valuable data for cognitive neuroscience research. Accurate localization of iEEG electrodes is essential for evaluating specific brain regions underlying the electrodes that indicate normal or pathological activity, as well as for relating research findings to neuroimaging and lesion studies. However, electrodes are frequently tucked underneath the edge of a craniotomy, inserted via a burr hole, or placed deep within the brain, where their locations cannot be verified visually or with neuronavigational systems. We show that one existing method, registration of postimplant computed tomography (CT) with preoperative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), can result in errors exceeding 1 cm. We present a novel method for localizing iEEG electrodes using routinely acquired surgical photographs, X-ray radiographs, and magnetic resonance imaging scans. Known control points are used to compute projective transforms that link the different image sets, ultimately allowing hidden electrodes to be localized, in addition to refining the location of manually registered visible electrodes. As the technique does not require any calibration between the different image modalities, it can be applied to existing image databases. The final result is a set of electrode positions on the patient's rendered MRI yielding locations relative to sulcal and gyral landmarks on individual anatomy, as well as MNI coordinates. We demonstrate the results of our method in eight epilepsy patients implanted with electrode grids spanning the left hemisphere.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)106-115
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Neuroscience Methods
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 15 2008


  • 3D localization
  • CT
  • Coregistration
  • Electrocorticography
  • Epilepsy surgery
  • Intracranial electroencephalography
  • MRI
  • Subdural electrodes
  • Surface rendering
  • X-ray

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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    Dalal, S. S., Edwards, E., Kirsch, H. E., Barbaro, N. M., Knight, R. T., & Nagarajan, S. S. (2008). Localization of neurosurgically implanted electrodes via photograph-MRI-radiograph coregistration. Journal of Neuroscience Methods, 174(1), 106-115. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jneumeth.2008.06.028