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Glyph-Based SPECT Visualization for the Diagnosis of Coronary Artery Disease

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5 Author(s)
Jennis Meyer-Spradow ; Visualization and Computer Graphics Research Group (VisCG), University of Münster ; Lars Stegger ; Christian Döring ; Timo Ropinski
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Myocardial perfusion imaging with single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) is an established method for the detection and evaluation of coronary artery disease (CAD). State-of-the-art SPECT scanners yield a large number of regional parameters of the left-ventricular myocardium (e.g., blood supply at rest and during stress, wall thickness, and wall thickening during heart contraction) that all need to be assessed by the physician. Today, the individual parameters of this multivariate data set are displayed as stacks of 2D slices, bull's eye plots, or, more recently, surfaces in 3D, which depict the left-ventricular wall. In all these visualizations, the data sets are displayed side-by-side rather than in an integrated manner, such that the multivariate data have to be examined sequentially and need to be fused mentally. This is time consuming and error-prone. In this paper we present an interactive 3D glyph visualization, which enables an effective integrated visualization of the multivariate data. Results from semiotic theory are used to optimize the mapping of different variables to glyph properties. This facilitates an improved perception of important information and thus an accelerated diagnosis. The 3D glyphs are linked to the established 2D views, which permit a more detailed inspection, and to relevant meta-information such as known stenoses of coronary vessels supplying the myocardial region. Our method has demonstrated its potential for clinical routine use in real application scenarios assessed by nuclear physicians.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics  (Volume:14 ,  Issue: 6 )