Advanced Applications of Volume Visualization Methods in Medicine
This State of The Art Report summarises the application of techniques developed over the recent years for visualising volumetric medical data acquired by modern medical imaging modalities such as CT, MRA, MRI, Nuclear Medicine, 3D-Ultrasound, Laser Confocal Microscopy etc. Although all of the modalities provide "slices of the body", significant differences exist between the image content of each modality. The focus of the Report is be less in explaining algorithms and rendering techniques, but rather to point out their applicability, benefits, and potential in the medical environment. In the first part, fundamentals of medical image processing and methods for all steps of the volume visualisation pipeline from data preprocessing to object display are reviewed, with special emphasis on data structures, segmentation, and surface- and volume-based rendering. Furthermore, volume registration, intelligent visualisation, intervention rehearsal, and aspects of image quality arediscussed.
In the second part, applications are illustrated from the areas of craniofacial surgery, traumatology, neurosurgery, radiotherapy, and medical education. Further, some new applications of volumetric methods are presented: 3D ultrasound, laser confocal datasets, and 3D-reconstruction of cardiological datasets, i.e. vessels as well as ventricles. These new volumetric methods are currently under development but due to their enormous application potential they are expected to be clinically accepted within the next years.