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IEEE Trans Vis Comput Graph. 2008 Nov-Dec;14(6):1587-94. doi: 10.1109/TVCG.2008.150.

Novel interaction techniques for neurosurgical planning and stereotactic navigation.

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Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Yale School of Medicine.


Neurosurgical planning and image guided neurosurgery require the visualization of multimodal data obtained from various functional and structural image modalities, such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Computed Tomography (CT), functional MRI, Single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and so on. In the case of epilepsy neurosurgery for example, these images are used to identify brain regions to guide intracranial electrode implantation and resection. Generally, such data is visualized using 2D slices and in some cases using a 3D volume rendering along with the functional imaging results. Visualizing the activation region effectively by still preserving sufficient surrounding brain regions for context is exceedingly important to neurologists and surgeons. We present novel interaction techniques for visualization of multimodal data to facilitate improved exploration and planning for neurosurgery. We extended the line widget from VTK to allow surgeons to control the shape of the region of the brain that they can visually crop away during exploration and surgery. We allow simple spherical, cubical, ellipsoidal and cylindrical (probe aligned cuts) for exploration purposes. In addition we integrate the cropping tool with the image-guided navigation system used for epilepsy neurosurgery. We are currently investigating the use of these new tools in surgical planning and based on further feedback from our neurosurgeons we will integrate them into the setup used for image-guided neurosurgery.

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