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In medical visualization, segmentation is an important step prior to rendering. However, it is also a difficult procedure because of the restrictions imposed by variations in image characteristics, human anatomy, and pathology. Moreover, what is interesting from clinical point of view is usually not only an organ or a tissue itself, but also its properties together with adjacent organs or related vessel systems that are going in and coming out. For an informative rendering, these necessitate the usage of different segmentation methods in a single application, and combining/representing the results together in a proper way. This paper describes the implementation of an interface, which can be used to plug-in and then apply a segmentation method to a medical image series. The design is based on handling each segmentation procedure as an object where all parameters of each object can be specified individually. Thus, it is possible to use different plug-ins with different interfaces and parameters for the segmentation of different tissues in the same dataset while rendering all of the results together is still possible. The design allows access to insight registration and segmentation toolkit, Java, and MATLAB functionality together, eases sharing and comparing segmentation techniques, and serves as a visual debugger for algorithm developers.
Information Technology in Biomedicine, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:14 , Issue: 4 )
Date of Publication: July 2010