Visual Interpretation with Three-Dimensional Annotations (VITA): Three-Dimensional Image Interpretation Tool for Radiological Reporting


This paper introduces a software framework called Visual Interpretation with Three-Dimensional Annotations (VITA) that is able to automatically generate three-dimensional (3D) visual summaries based on radiological annotations made during routine exam reporting. VITA summaries are in the form of rotating 3D volumes where radiological annotations are highlighted to place important clinical observations into a 3D context. The rendered volume is produced as a Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) object and is automatically added to the study for archival in Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS). In addition, a video summary (e.g., MPEG4) can be generated for sharing with patients and for situations where DICOM viewers are not readily available to referring physicians. The current version of VITA is compatible with ClearCanvas; however, VITA can work with any PACS workstation that has a structured annotation implementation (e.g., Extendible Markup Language, Health Level 7, Annotation and Image Markup) and is able to seamlessly integrate into the existing reporting workflow. In a survey with referring physicians, the vast majority strongly agreed that 3D visual summaries improve the communication of the radiologists' reports and aid communication with patients.

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The authors acknowledge the National Cancer Institute and the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health and their critical role in the creation of the free publicly available LIDC/IDRI Database used in this study [7].

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Correspondence to Sharmili Roy.

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Roy, S., Brown, M.S. & Shih, G.L. Visual Interpretation with Three-Dimensional Annotations (VITA): Three-Dimensional Image Interpretation Tool for Radiological Reporting. J Digit Imaging 27, 49–57 (2014).

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  • Visual summary
  • Radiology reporting
  • Volume visualization
  • Clinical workflow
  • Information visualization
  • Volume rendering