Accurate geometry reconstruction of vascular structures using implicit splines

Hong, Qingqi

Computer science
April 2012

Thesis or dissertation

© 2012 Qingqi Hong. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

3-D visualization of blood vessel from standard medical datasets (e.g. CT or MRI) play an important role in many clinical situations, including the diagnosis of vessel stenosis, virtual angioscopy, vascular surgery planning and computer aided vascular surgery. However, unlike other human organs, the vasculature system is a very complex network of vessel, which makes it a very challenging task to perform its 3-D visualization. Conventional techniques of medical volume data visualization are in general not well-suited for the above-mentioned tasks. This problem can be solved by reconstructing vascular geometry. Although various methods have been proposed for reconstructing vascular structures, most of these approaches are model-based, and are usually too ideal to correctly represent the actual variation presented by the cross-sections of a vascular structure. In addition, the underlying shape is usually expressed as polygonal meshes or in parametric forms, which is very inconvenient for implementing ramification of branching. As a result, the reconstructed geometries are not suitable for computer aided diagnosis and computer guided minimally invasive vascular surgery.

In this research, we develop a set of techniques associated with the geometry reconstruction of vasculatures, including segmentation, modelling, reconstruction, exploration and rendering of vascular structures. The reconstructed geometry can not only help to greatly enhance the visual quality of 3-D vascular structures, but also provide an actual geometric representation of vasculatures, which can provide various benefits.

The key findings of this research are as follows:

1. A localized hybrid level-set method of segmentation has been developed to extract the vascular structures from 3-D medical datasets.
2. A skeleton-based implicit modelling technique has been proposed and applied to the reconstruction of vasculatures, which can achieve an accurate geometric reconstruction of the vascular structures as implicit surfaces in an analytical form.
3. An accelerating technique using modern GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) is devised and applied to rendering the implicitly represented vasculatures.
4. The implicitly modelled vasculature is investigated for the application of virtual angioscopy.

Department of Computer Science, The University of Hull
Li, Qingde
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