Volume Visualization: A Technical Overview with a Focus on Medical Applications
Journal of Digital Imaging, Vol 24, No 4 (August), 2011: pp 640-664
Qi Zhang,1 Roy Eagleson, and Terry M. Peters
With the increasing availability of high-resolution iso¬tropic three- or four-dimensional medical datasets from sources such as magnetic resonance imaging, computed tomography, and ultrasound, volumetric image visual¬ization techniques have increased in importance. Over the past two decades, a number of new algorithms and improvements have been developed for practical clinical image display. More recently, further efficiencies have been attained by designing and implementing volume-rendering algorithms on graphics processing units (GPUs). In this paper, we review volumetric image visualization pipelines, algorithms, and medical applica¬tions. We also illustrate our algorithm implementation and evaluation results, and address the advantages and drawbacks of each algorithm in terms of image quality and efficiency. Within the outlined literature review, we have integrated our research results relating to new visualization, classification, enhancement, and multi-modal data dynamic rendering. Finally, we illustrate issues related to modern GPU working pipelines, and their applications in volume visualization domain.