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Stereoscopic Visualization of Diffusion Tensor Imaging Data: A Comparative Survey of Visualization Techniques


Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) data has traditionally been displayed as a grayscale functional anisotropy map (GSFM) or color coded orientation map (CCOM). These methods use black and white or color with intensity values to map the complex multidimensional DTI data to a two-dimensional image. Alternative visualization techniques, such as V max maps utilize enhanced graphical representation of the principal eigenvector by means of a headless arrow on regular nonstereoscopic (VM) or stereoscopic display (VMS). A survey of clinical utility of patients with intracranial neoplasms was carried out by 8 neuroradiologists using traditional and nontraditional methods of DTI display. Pairwise comparison studies of 5 intracranial neoplasms were performed with a structured questionnaire comparing GSFM, CCOM, VM, and VMS. Six of 8 neuroradiologists favored V max maps over traditional methods of display (GSFM and CCOM). When comparing the stereoscopic (VMS) and the non-stereoscopic (VM) modes, 4 favored VMS, 2 favored VM, and 2 had no preference. In conclusion, processing and visualizing DTI data stereoscopically is technically feasible. An initial survey of users indicated that V max based display methodology with or without stereoscopic visualization seems to be preferred over traditional methods to display DTI data.

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