System for 3D visualization and data mining of large vascular trees

Kun Chang Yu, Erik L. Ritman, William E. Higgins

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Scopus citations


Modern micro-CT scanners produce very large 3D digital images of arterial trees. A typical 3D micro-CT image can consist of several hundred megabytes of image data, with a voxel resolution on the order of ten microns. The analysis and subsequent visualization of such images poses a considerable challenge. We describe a computerbased system for analyzing and visualizing such large 3D data sets. The system, dubbed the Tree Analyzer, processes an image in four major stages. In the first two stages, a series of automated 3D image-processing operations are applied to an input 3D digital image to produce a raw arterial tree and several supplemental data structures describing the tree (central-axis structure, surface rendering polygonal data, quantitative description of all tree branches), Next, the human interacts with the system to visualize and correct potential defects in the extracted raw tree. A series of sophisticated 3D editing tools and automated operations are available for this step. Finally, the corrected tree can be visualized and manipulated for data mining, using a large number of graphics-based rendering tools, such as 3D stereo viewing, global and local surface rendering, sliding-thin slabs, multiplanar reformatted views, projection images, and an interactive tree map. Quantitative data can also be perused for the tree. Results are presented for 3D micro-CT images of the heart and liver.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
EditorsB. Javidi, F. Okano, J.-Y. Son
StatePublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes
EventThree-Dimensional TV, Video, and Display IV - Boston, MA, United States
Duration: Oct 24 2005Oct 26 2005


OtherThree-Dimensional TV, Video, and Display IV
CountryUnited States
CityBoston, MA



  • 3D visualization
  • Data mining
  • Micro-CT imaging
  • Tree analysis
  • Vascular trees
  • Virtual endoscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Condensed Matter Physics

Cite this

Yu, K. C., Ritman, E. L., & Higgins, W. E. (2005). System for 3D visualization and data mining of large vascular trees. In B. Javidi, F. Okano, & J-Y. Son (Eds.), Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering (Vol. 6016). [60160B]