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MEDIVOL: A PRACTICAL EXPLORATION OF REFINED, 3D, INTERACTIVE VOLUMETRIC REPRESENTATIONS OF SOFT TISSUE PATHOLOGIES IN VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENTS

Authors: M Nazar; M Smith; R Aspen; L Funk; C Hutchinson

References: Presented at SECEC 2009

Purpose
Non-invasive scanning technologies, such as MRI is often difficult to comprehend due to both inadequacies in the scanning process and sub-optimal approaches to visualisation and data representation. Our broader research aims to identify whether 3D representation of MRI data sets offer a more intuitive means of viewing the data and thereby enable easier understanding and comprehension of the common pathologies in shoulder.

Material and Methods
We constructed a 3D MRI viewing application, raaMediVol, which utilises recent developments in 3D computer graphics hardware. The PowerPoint presentation commenced with images of both 2D slices and 3D reconstruction and was shown to shoulder surgeons and musculoskeletal radiologists. The participants were shown images of normal anterior and superior Labrum, SLAP tears, Bankart lesions and Bony Bankart lesions. The bones, soft tissues and gadolinium were shown in grey, red and yellowish green colours respectively.

Results
In the cases with Normal Anterior labrum the 3D representation performed significantly better at representing the test data with all experienced clinicians making a correct diagnosis. In cases of SLAP tear and Bankart Lesion the performance of the 3D and 2D representations appeared similar. In the case of the Bony Bankart Lesion the 3D representation method performed significantly better compared to 2D approach.

Conclusion
This research has undertaken an evolutionary and iterative approach to determining a method for representing 3D volumetric medical data in a manner that enables the user, in this case clinicians, to comprehend and explore a particular type of soft tissue pathology.

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