Proceedings: GI 2007

Visualization and exploration of time-varying medical image data sets

Zhe Fang, Torsten Möller, Ghassan Hamarneh, Anna Celler

Proceedings of Graphics Interface 2007: Montréal, Québec, Canada, 28 - 30 May 2007, 281-288

DOI 10.1145/1268517.1268563

  • BibTex

    author = {Fang, Zhe and M{\"o}ller, Torsten and Hamarneh, Ghassan and Celler, Anna},
    title = {Visualization and exploration of time-varying medical image data sets},
    booktitle = {Proceedings of Graphics Interface 2007},
    series = {GI 2007},
    year = {2007},
    issn = {0713-5424},
    isbn = {978-1-56881-337-0},
    location = {Montr{\'e}al, Qu{\'e}bec, Canada},
    pages = {281--288},
    numpages = {8},
    doi = {10.1145/1268517.1268563},
    acmdoi = {10.1145/1268517.1268563},
    publisher = {Canadian Human-Computer Communications Society},
    address = {University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada},


In this work, we propose and compare several methods for the visualization and exploration of time-varying volumetric medical images based on the temporal characteristics of the data. The principle idea is to consider a time-varying data set as a 3D array where each voxel contains a time-activity curve (TAC). We define and appraise three different TAC similarity measures. Based on these measures we introduce three methods to analyze and visualize time-varying data. The first method relates the whole data set to one template TAC and creates a 1D histogram. The second method extends the 1D histogram into a 2D histogram by taking the Euclidean distance between voxels into account. The third method does not rely on a template TAC but rather creates a 2D scatter-plot of all TAC data points via multi-dimensional scaling. These methods allow the user to specify transfer functions on the 1D and 2D histograms and on the scatter plot, respectively. We validate these methods on synthetic dynamic SPECT and PET data sets and a dynamic planar Gamma camera image of a patient. These techniques are designed to offer researchers and health care professionals a new tool to study the time-varying medical imaging data sets.