Journal of Digital Imaging

, Volume 24, Issue 6, pp 1103–1111 | Cite as

NIRViz: 3D Visualization Software for Multimodality Optical Imaging Using Visualization Toolkit (VTK) and Insight Segmentation Toolkit (ITK)



Optical imaging using near-infrared light is used for noninvasive probing of tissues to recover vascular and molecular status of healthy and diseased tissues using hemoglobin contrast arising due to absorption of light. While multimodality optical techniques exist, visualization techniques in this area are limited. Addressing this issue, we present a simple framework for image overlay of optical and magnetic resonance (MRI) or computerized tomographic images which is intuitive and easily usable, called NIRViz. NIRViz is a multimodality software platform for the display and navigation of Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) MRI datasets and 3D optical image solutions geared toward visualization and coregistration of optical contrast in diseased tissues such as cancer. We present the design decisions undertaken during the design of the software, the libraries used in the implementation, and other implementation details as well as preliminary results from the software package. Our implementation uses the Visualization Toolkit library to do most of the work, with a Qt graphical user interface for the front end. Challenges encountered include reslicing DICOM image data and coregistration of image space and mesh space. The resulting software provides a simple and customized platform to display surface and volume meshes with optical parameters such as hemoglobin concentration, overlay them on magnetic resonance images, allow the user to interactively change transparency of different image sets, rotate geometries, clip through the resulting datasets, obtain mesh and optical solution information, and successfully interact with both functional and structural medical image information.


MRI Multimodality imaging NIRViz Visualization Toolkit Insight Segmentation Toolkit 


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Copyright information

© Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceDartmouth CollegeHanoverUSA
  2. 2.Thayer School of EngineeringDartmouth CollegeHanoverUSA

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