Anatomical structure modeling from medical images.Comput Methods Programs Biomed. 2006 Jun; 82(3):203-15.CM
Some clinical applications, such as surgical planning, require volumetric models of anatomical structures represented as a set of tetrahedra. A practical method of constructing anatomical models from medical images is presented. The method starts with a set of contours segmented from the medical images by a clinician and produces a model that has high fidelity with the contours. Unlike most modeling methods, the contours are not restricted to lie on parallel planes. The main steps are a 3D Delaunay tetrahedralization, culling of non-object tetrahedra, and refinement of the tetrahedral mesh. The result is a high-quality set of tetrahedra whose surface points are guaranteed to match the original contours. The key is to use the distance map and bit volume structures that were created along with the contours. The method is demonstrated on computed tomography, MRI and 3D ultrasound data. Models of 170,000 tetrahedra are constructed on a standard workstation in approximately 10s. A comparison with related methods is also provided.