“A flight simulator approach to the visualization of dynamic medical data” by Gering

  • ©David Gering




    A flight simulator approach to the visualization of dynamic medical data



     Visualization of 3-D medical scan data (e.g.: MRI, CT, PET) is often performed using surface rendering or volume rendering. Volume rendering is well suited for applications where the assignment of color and opacity values is straightforward given the image voxel intensities. This is true of CT data where there is a strong correlation between Hounsfield units and tissue types. Surface rendering is well suited for applications where segmentation of key structures is a necessary step for good visualization, such as with MRI data, and a polygonal mesh can be wrapped around segmented structures to form a surface model. Virtual reality approaches use haptic interfaces to associate force functions with segmented surfaces. These simulators let surgeons practice with patient-specific data [Neubauer et al. 2005]. Apart from photo-realistic volume rendering of CT data, systems tend to augment the data using non-photo-realistic rendering. For example, functional information (e.g.: fMRI of the motor cortex) is colorized and overlaid on gray-scale anatomical data, and 3-D graphical cues are added to guide trajectories during minimally invasive surgeries [Gering 2001]. Despite this departure from photo-realism, there has been a bias toward geometric realism.  


    1. Gering, D. T., Nabavi, A., Kikinis, R., Hata, N., Odonnell, L. J., Grimson, W. E. L., Jolesz, F. A., Black, P., Wells III, W. 2001. An Integrated Visualization System for Surgical Planning and Guidance Using Image Fusion and an Open MR, Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging, 13, 967–975.
    2. Neubauer, A., Wolfsberger, S., Foster, M-T., Mroz, L., Wegenkittl, R., Buhler, K. 2005. Advanced Virtual Endosopic Pituitary Surgery, IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 11, 5, 497–507.

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