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Standardized Volume Rendering Protocols for Magnetic Resonance Imaging using Maximum-Likelihood Modeling
Linköping University, Department of Science and Technology.
2006 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Magister), 20 points / 30 hpStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Volume rendering (VRT) has been used with great success in studies of patients using computed tomography (CT), much because of the possibility of standardizing the rendering protocols. When using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), this procedure is considerably more difficult, since the signal from a given tissue can vary dramatically, even for the same patient. This thesis work focuses on how to improve the presentation of MRI data by using VRT protocols including standardized transfer functions. The study is limited to exclusively examining data from patients with suspected renal artery stenosis. A total number of 11 patients are examined.

A statistical approach is used to standardize the volume rendering protocols. The histogram of the image volume is modeled as the sum of two gamma distributions, corresponding to vessel and background voxels. Parameters describing the gamma distributions are estimated with a Maximum-likelihood technique, so that expectation (E1 and E2) and standard deviation of the two voxel distributions can be calculated from the histogram. These values are used to generate the transfer function.

Different combinations of the values from the expectation and standard deviation were studied in a material of 11 MR angiography datasets, and the visual result was graded by a radiologist. By comparing the grades, it turned out that using only the expectation of the background distribution (E1) and vessel distribution (E2) gave the best result. The opacity is then defined with a value of 0 up to a signal threshold of E1, then increasing linearly up to 50 % at a second threshold E2, and after that a constant opacity of 50 %. The brightness curve follows the opacity curve to E2, after which it continues to increase linearly up to 100%.

A graphical user interface was created to facilitate the user-control of the volumes and transfer functions. The result from the statistical calculations is displayed in the interface and is used to view and manipulate the transfer function directly in the volume histogram.

A transfer function generated with the Maximum-likelihood VRT method (ML-VRT) gave a better visual result in 10 of the 11 cases than when using a transfer function not adapting to signal intensity variations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Institutionen för teknik och naturvetenskap , 2006. , 48 p.
Keyword [en]
Volume Rendering, MRI, Transfer function, ML-VRT, Standardized
National Category
Computer Vision and Robotics (Autonomous Systems)
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-6211ISRN: LITH-ITN-MT-EX--06/008--SEOAI: diva2:21703
2006-01-27, CMIV, Linköpings universitet/US, SE-581 85, Linköping, 13:00
Available from: 2006-04-04 Created: 2006-04-04

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