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Proceedings Paper

Import and visualization of clinical medical imagery into multiuser VR environments
Author(s): Andreas H. Mehrle; Wolfgang Freysinger; Ron Kikinis; Andreas Gunkel; Florian Kral
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Paper Abstract

The graphical representation of three-dimensional data obtained from tomographic imaging has been the central problem since this technology is available. Neither the representation as a set of two-dimensional slices nor the 2D projection of three-dimensional models yields satisfactory results. In this paper a way is outlined which permits the investigation of volumetric clinical data obtained from standard CT, MR, PET, SPECT or experimental very high resolution CT-scanners in a three dimensional environment within a few worksteps. Volumetric datasets are converted into surface data (segmentation process) using the 3D-Slicer software tool and saved as .vtk files and exported as a collection of primitives in any common file format (.iv, .pfb). Subsequently this files can be displayed and manipulated in the CAVE virtual reality center. The CAVE is a multiuser walkable virtual room consisting of several walls on which stereoscopic images are projected by rear panel beamers. Adequate tracking of the head position and separate image calculation for each eye yields a vivid impression for one or several users. With the use of a seperately tracked 6D joystick manipulations such as rotation, translation, zooming, decomposition or highlighting can be done intuitively. The usage of the CAVE technology opens new possibilities especially in surgical training ("hands-on-effect") and as an educational tool (availability of pathological data). Unlike concurring technologies the CAVE permits a walk-through into the virtual scene but preserves enough physical perception to allow interaction between multiple users, e.g. gestures and movements. By training in a virtual environment on one hand the learning process of students in complex anatomic findings may be improved considerably and on the other hand unaccustomed views such as the one through a microscope or endoscope can be trained in advance. The availability of low-cost PC based CAVE-like systems and the rapidly decreasing price of high-performance video beamers makes the CAVE an affordable alternative to conventional surgical training techniques and without limitations in handling cadavers.

Paper Details

Date Published: 22 March 2005
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 5664, Stereoscopic Displays and Virtual Reality Systems XII, (22 March 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.587063
Show Author Affiliations
Andreas H. Mehrle, Johannes Kepler Univ. Linz (Austria)
Wolfgang Freysinger, Innsbruck Medical Univ. (Austria)
Ron Kikinis, Brigham and Women's Hospital (United States)
Andreas Gunkel, Innsbruck Medical Univ. (Austria)
Florian Kral, Innsbruck Medical Univ. (Austria)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5664:
Stereoscopic Displays and Virtual Reality Systems XII
Andrew J. Woods; Mark T. Bolas; John O. Merritt; Ian E. McDowall, Editor(s)

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