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6 June 2000 Tree-branch-searching multiresolution approach to skeletonization for virtual endoscopy
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One of the most important tasks for virtual endoscopy is path planning for viewing the lumen of hollow organs. For geometry complex objects, for example the lungs, it remains an unsolved problem. While alternative visualization modes have been proposed, for example, cutting and flattening the hollow wall, a skeleton of the lumen is still necessary as a reference for the cutting. A general-purpose skeletonization algorithm often generates redundant skeletons because of the local shape variation. In this study, a multistage skeletonization method for tree-like volumes, such as airway system, blood vessels, and colon, was presented. By appropriately defining the distance between voxels, the distance to the root from each voxel in the volume can be effectively determined with means of region growing techniques. The end points of all branches and the shortest path from each end point to the root can be extracted based on this distance map. A post-processing algorithm is applied to the shortest paths to remove redundant ones and to centralize the remained ones. The skeleton generated is one-voxel wide, along which every branch of the 'tree' can be viewed. For effectively processing volume of large size, a modified multiresolution analysis was also developed to scale down the binary segmented volume. Tests on airway, vessel, and colon dataset were promising.
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Dongqing Chen, Bin Li, Zhengrong Liang, Ming Wan, Arie E. Kaufman, and Mark R. Wax "Tree-branch-searching multiresolution approach to skeletonization for virtual endoscopy", Proc. SPIE 3979, Medical Imaging 2000: Image Processing, (6 June 2000);


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