Advanced Applications of Volume Visualization Methods in Medicine
Tomographic medical imaging techniques have become more popular in recent years. The wide availibility of CT, MRI and Ultrasound in most large hospitals results in a rapidly increasing number of examinations with these devices. The State of the Art Report summarises the application of techniques developed over the recent years for visualising volumetric medical data common in modern medical imaging modalities such as CT, MRA, MRI, Nuclear Medicine, 3D-Ultrasound, Laser Confocal Misroscopy etc. Although all of the modalities listed above 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 potetial in the medical environment. In the first part, methods for all steps of the volume visualization pipeline from data preprocessing to object display are reviewed, with special emphasis on datastructu res, segmentation, and surface- and volume-based rendering. Furthermore, multimodality matching, intervention rehearsal, and aspects of image quality are discussed. In the second part applications are illustrated from the areas of craniofacial surgery, traumatology, neurosurgery, radiotherapy, and medical education. Furtherly, 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 to be expected to be clinically accepted within the next years.