Volume Rendering in Radiation Treatment Planning

Levoy, M., Fuchs, H., Pizer, S.M., Rosenman, J., Chaney, E.L., Sherouse, G.W., Interrante, V., Kiel, J.,
Volume Rendering in Radiation Treatment Planning,
Proc. First Conference on Visualization in Biomedical Computing,
IEEE Computer Society Press, Atlanta, Georgia, May, 1990, pp. 4-10.


Successful treatment planning in radiation therapy depends in part on understanding the spatial relationship between patient anatomy and the distribution of radiation dose. We present several visualizations based on volume rendering that offer potential solutions to this problem. The visualizations employ region boundary surfaces to display anatomy, polygonal meshes to display treatment beams, and isovalue contour surfaces to display dose. To improve perception of spatial relationships, we use metallic shading, surface and solid texturing, synthetic fog, shadows, and other artistic devices. Also outlined is a method based on 3D mip maps for efficiently generating perspective volume renderings and beam's-eye views. To evaluate the efficacy of these visualizations, we are building a radiotherapy planning system based on a Cray YMP and the Pixel-Planes 5 raster display engine. The system will allow interactive manipulation of beam geometry, dosimetry, shading, and viewing parameters, and will generate volume renderings of anatomy and dose in real time.

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