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Interactive virtual probing of 4D MRI blood-flow.

Authors
  • van Pelt, Roy
  • Bescós, Javier Oliván
  • Breeuwer, Marcel
  • Clough, Rachel E
  • Gröller, M Eduard
  • Romenij, Bart ter Haar
  • Vilanova, Anna
Type
Published Article
Journal
IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics
Publisher
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Publication Date
Dec 01, 2011
Volume
17
Issue
12
Pages
2153–2162
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1109/TVCG.2011.215
PMID: 22034334
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Better understanding of hemodynamics conceivably leads to improved diagnosis and prognosis of cardiovascular diseases. Therefore, an elaborate analysis of the blood-flow in heart and thoracic arteries is essential. Contemporary MRI techniques enable acquisition of quantitative time-resolved flow information, resulting in 4D velocity fields that capture the blood-flow behavior. Visual exploration of these fields provides comprehensive insight into the unsteady blood-flow behavior, and precedes a quantitative analysis of additional blood-flow parameters. The complete inspection requires accurate segmentation of anatomical structures, encompassing a time-consuming and hard-to-automate process, especially for malformed morphologies. We present a way to avoid the laborious segmentation process in case of qualitative inspection, by introducing an interactive virtual probe. This probe is positioned semi-automatically within the blood-flow field, and serves as a navigational object for visual exploration. The difficult task of determining position and orientation along the view-direction is automated by a fitting approach, aligning the probe with the orientations of the velocity field. The aligned probe provides an interactive seeding basis for various flow visualization approaches. We demonstrate illustration-inspired particles, integral lines and integral surfaces, conveying distinct characteristics of the unsteady blood-flow. Lastly, we present the results of an evaluation with domain experts, valuing the practical use of our probe and flow visualization techniques.

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