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M. Schlachter,  B. Preim,  K. Bühler,  R. G. Raidou (2020)

Principles of Visualization in Radiation Oncology

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Oncology

Abstract

Background: Medical visualization employs elements from computer graphics to create meaningful, interactive visual representations of medical data, and it has become an influential field of research for many advanced applications like radiation oncology, among others. Visual representations employ the user’s cognitive capabilities to support and accelerate diagnostic, planning, and quality assurance workflows based on involved patient data. Summary: This article discusses the basic underlying principles of visualization in the application domain of radiation oncology. The main visualization strategies, such as slice-based representations and surface and volume rendering are presented. Interaction topics, i.e., the combination of visualization and automated analysis methods, are also discussed. Key Messages: Slice-based representations are a common approach in radiation oncology, while volume visualization also has a long-standing history in the field. Perception within both representations can benefit further from advanced approaches, such as image fusion and multivolume or hybrid rendering. While traditional slice-based and volume representations keep evolving, the dimensionality and complexity of medical data are also increasing. To address this, visual analytics strategies are valuable, particularly for cohort or uncertainty visualization. Interactive visual analytics approaches represent a new opportunity to integrate knowledgeable experts and their cognitive abilities in exploratory processes which cannot be conducted by solely automatized methods.

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