Can thoraco-abdominal organ boundaries be accurately determined from X-ray and anthropometric surface scans? Implications for body armour system coverage and design

C. E. Coltman, A. Powell, S. N. Laing, R. A. Davidson, M. A. Jaffrey, A. Zhou, M. R. Pickering, S. J. Summers

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To optimise soldier protection within body armour systems, knowledge of the boundaries of essential thoraco-abdominal organs is necessary to inform coverage requirements. However, existing methods of organ boundary identification are costly and time consuming, limiting widespread adoption for use on soldier populations. The aim of this study was to evaluate a novel method of using 3D organ models to identify essential organ boundaries from low dose planar X-rays and 3D external surface scans of the human torso. The results revealed that, while possible to reconstruct 3D organs using template 3D organ models placed over X-ray images, the boundary data (relating to the size and position of each organ) obtained from the reconstructed organs differed significantly from MRI organ data. The magnitude of difference varied between organs. The most accurate anatomical boundaries were the left, right, and inferior boundaries of the heart, and lateral boundaries for the liver and spleen. Visual inspection of the data demonstrated that 11 of 18 organ models were successfully integrated within the 3D space of the participant's surface scan. These results suggest that, if this method is further refined and evaluated, it has potential to be used as a tool for estimating body armour coverage requirements.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104311
Pages (from-to)1-27
Number of pages27
JournalApplied Ergonomics
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - May 2024

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