AnatomyBrowser: A novel approach to visualization and integration of medical information

Golland P, Kikinis R, Halle M, Umans C, Grimson WE, Shenton ME, Richolt JA

Comput. Aided Surg. 1999;4(3):129-43

PMID: 10528270


In this article, we present a novel technique for visualization of three-dimensional (3D) surface models, as well as its implementation in a system called AnatomyBrowser. Using our approach, visualization of 3D surface models is performed in two separate steps: a pre-rendering step, in which the models are rendered and saved in a special format, and an actual display step, in which the final result of rendering is generated using information from the prerendering step. Whereas prerendering requires high-end graphics hardware, the final image generation and display can be implemented efficiently in software. Moreover, our current implementation of AnatomyBrowser interface uses the Java programming language and can therefore be readily run on a wide range of systems, including low-end computers with no special graphics hardware. In addition to visualization of 3D models and 2D slices, AnatomyBrowser provides a rich set of annotation and cross-referencing capabilities. We demonstrate several possible applications for AnatomyBrowser, including interactive anatomy atlases, surgery planning, and assistance in segmentation.