Hyperspectral based discrimination of thyroid and parathyroid during surgery

Manuel Barberio 1 , Marianne Maktabi 2 , Ines Gockel 3 , Nada Rayes 3 , Boris Jansen-Winkeln 3 , Hannes Köhler 2 , Sebastian M. Rabe 3 , Lena Seidemann 3 , Jonathan P. Takoh 3 , Michele Diana 1 , Thomas Neumuth 2  and Claire Chalopin 2
  • 1 Institute of Image-Guided Surgery (IHU),, Strasbourg, France
  • 2 Innovation Center Computer Assisted Surgery (ICCAS), University of Leipzig,, Leipzig, Germany
  • 3 Department of visceral, thorax, transplantation and vascular surgery, University Hospital of Leipzig,, Leipzig, Germany


Unintended injuring of anatomical structures during endocrine neck operations can have severe consequences for patient. Especially the nerves and the parathyroid gland can be hard to identify visually. Therefore, intraoperative methods are needed to support the surgeon in this task. Hyperspectral imaging (HSI) is a new approach in the medical area which combines a camera with a spectrometer. It showed promising results for the discrimination of tissue. In this work, HSI-data of seven patients were acquired during thyroid and parathyroid operations. The mean absorbance spectra of both glands showed differences in the range between 600 and 700 nm and at 760 and 960 nm. This means that thyroid and parathyroid have different oxygenation states and different contents of deoxygenated hemoglobin and water. From these observations, it is possible to define spectral signatures to characterize both glands. We showed on one patient how spectral signatures can be used in classification algorithms to automatically identify the thyroid and parathyroid from other structures.

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Current Directions in Biomedical Engineering is an open access journal and closely related to the journal Biomedical Engineering - Biomedizinische Technik. CDBME is a forum for the exchange of knowledge in the fields of biomedical engineering, medical information technology and biotechnology/bioengineering for medicine and addresses engineers, natural scientists, and clinicians working in research, industry, or clinical practice.