Applications of VR medical image visualization to chordal length measurements for cardiac procedures

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering



URL with Digital Object Identifier



© 2020 SPIE. Cardiac surgeons rely on diagnostic imaging for preoperative planning. Recently, developments have been made on improving 3D ultrasound (US) spatial compounding tailored for cardiac images. Compounded 3D ultrasound volumes are able to capture complex anatomical structures at a level similar to a CT scan, however these images are difficult to display and visualize due to an increased amount of surrounding tissue captured including excess noise at the volume boundaries. Traditional medical image visualization software does not easily allow for viewing 2D slices at arbitrary angles, and 3D rendering techniques do not adequately capture depth information without the use of advanced transfer functions or other depth-encoding techniques that must be tuned to each individual data set. Previous studies have shown that the effective use of virtual reality (VR) can improve image visualization, usability and reduce surgical errors in case planning. We demonstrate the novel use of a VR system for the application of measuring chordal lengths from compounded transesophageal and transgastric echocardiography (TEE, TTE) ultrasound images. Compounded images are constructed from TEE (en-face) views registered and spatially compounded with multiple TEE transgastric views in order to capture both the mitral valve leaflets and chordae tendineae with high levels of detail. Users performed the task of taking linear measurements of chordae visible in these images using both traditional software and a VR platform. Compared to traditional software, the VR platform offered a more intuitive experience with respect to orientation, however users felt there was a lack of precision when performing the measurement tasks.

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