At the 73rd Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) in Chicago, we presented the (to our best knowledge) first ever 3D reconstruction of the brain of a living person as a poster and a video. Here are two short sequences from the original digital video. A longer section can also be found in the video Visualizing the human body.
The underlying 3D brain model is based on two image stacks from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), each consisting of 128 sagittal cross-sectional images with a resolution of 256 x 256 pixels. They were acquired with a Siemens Magnetom scanner, using the MRI sequences Fast Low Angle Shot Imaging (FLASH) and Fast Imaging with Steady-state Precession (FISP).
The perspective images of the brain were produced with the VOXEL-MAN-8 program on a DEC VAX-11/780 minicomputer under VMS, with connected COMTAL Vision One/20 and VTE Picturecom image processing workstations. Detection of the contours of the brain with a 3D Marr-Hildreth operator (3D Mexican hat) took about 90 minutes. Calculation of a single 3D image from the 3D MRI data with an (at that time) high resolution of 256 x 256 pixels took again several minutes, so that the video required several days of computing time.
In the video, the flattening of the gyri in the right hemisphere due to a tumor (blue) and an edema (yellow) are clearly visible. The original gray values from FLASH and FISP images as well as the first principal component of the Karhunen-Loeve transform (KL-TR) are mapped on the cut planes, emphasizing different aspects of the pathology.
This work was awarded the DAGM Price 1987 of the German Association for Pattern Recognition. It provided the foundation for later, significantly refined 3D brain models and atlases.
- Michael Bomans, Karl Heinz Höhne, Ulf Tiede, Martin Riemer: 3-D segmentation of MR images of the head for 3-D display. IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging 9, 2 (1990), 177-183.
- Michael Bomans, Martin Riemer, Ulf Tiede, Karl Heinz Höhne: 3-D Segmentation von Kernspin-Tomogrammen. In Erwin Paulus (ed.): Mustererkennung 1987, Proc. 9. DAGM-Symposium, Informatik-Fachberichte 149, Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 1987, 231-235.
- Karl Heinz Höhne, Ulf Tiede, Martin Riemer, Michael Bomans, Martin Heller, Gerd Witte: Static and dynamic three-dimensional display of tissue structures from volume scans. Radiology 165, P (1987), 420.
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