Model-Based Transfer Functions for Efficient Visualization of Medical Image Volumes
The visualization of images with a large dynamic range is a difficult task and this is especially the case for gray-level images. In radiology departments, this will force radiologists to review medical images several times, since the images need to be visualized with several different contrast windows (transfer functions) in order for the full information content of each image to be seen. Previously suggested methods for handling this situation include various approaches using histogram equalization and other methods for processing the image data. However, none of these utilize the underlying human anatomy in the images to control the visualization and the fact that different transfer functions are often only relevant for disjoint anatomical regions.
In this paper, we propose a method for using model-based local transfer functions. It allows the reviewing radiologist to apply multiple transfer functions simultaneously to a medical image volume. This provides the radiologist with a tool for making the review process more efficient, by allowing him/her to review more of the information in a medical image volume with a single visualization. The transfer functions are automatically assigned to different anatomically relevant regions, based upon a model registered to the volume to be visualized. The transfer functions can be either pre-defined or interactively changed by the radiologist during the review process. All of this is achieved without adding any unfamiliar aspects to the radiologist’s normal work-flow, when reviewing medical image volumes.
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