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Positron emission tomography (PET) allows the in vivo assessment of biochemical activity in humans. The newer PET cameras can create several imaging planes, or slices, through an organ inside the body. The interpretation of two-dimensional (2-D) slices of an organ is often difficult for the clinician since he or she has to form a three-dimensional (3-D) mental composite of the structure of interest. We have developed a set of algorithms to reconstruct a functional three-dimensional surface model of the cardiac left ventricle from a set of two-dimensional cross-sectional image slices generated by PET. The theoretical techniques for this reconstruction method are applicable to most organs provided that the appropriate models for the organs are considered. An automatic boundary detection algorithm outlines the surface of the left ventricle from the 2-D images and assigns intensity values to the surface points whose level is proportional to the local activity. A 3-D surface of the intensity levels, with pseudocolor enhancement, is then displayed with the long axis of the heart in a vertical position. Such a display allows the 3-D myocardial tracer uptake to be clearly visualized by the clinician for better diagnosis.
Date of Publication: Sept. 1984