Multi-dimensional transfer functions for effective visualization of streaming ultrasound and elasticity images

David Mann, Jesus J. Caban, Phillip J. Stolka, Emad M. Boctor, Terry S. Yoo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Scopus citations


The low-cost and minimum health risks associated with ultrasound (US) have made ultrasonic imaging a widely accepted method to perform diagnostic and image-guided procedures. Despite the existence of 3D ultrasound probes, most analysis and diagnostic procedures are done by studying the B-mode images. Currently, multiple ultrasound probes include 6-DOF sensors that can provide positioning information. Such tracking information can be used to reconstruct a 3D volume from a set of 2D US images. Recent advances in ultrasound imaging have also shown that, directly from the streaming radio frequency (RF) data, it is possible to obtain additional information of the anatomical region under consideration including the elasticity properties. This paper presents a generic framework that takes advantage of current graphics hardware to create a low-latency system to visualize streaming US data while combining multiple tissue attributes into a single illustration. In particular, we introduce a framework that enables real-time reconstruction and interactive visualization of streaming data while enhancing the illustration with elasticity information. The visualization module uses two-dimensional transfer functions (2D TFs) to more effectively fuse and map B-mode and strain values into specific opacity and color values. On commodity hardware, our framework can simultaneously reconstruct, render, and provide user interaction at over 15 fps. Results with phantom and real-world medical datasets show the advantages and effectiveness of our technique with ultrasound data. In particular, our results show how two-dimensional transfer functions can be used to more effectively identify, analyze and visualize lesions in ultrasound images.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMedical Imaging 2011
Subtitle of host publicationVisualization, Image-Guided Procedures, and Modeling
StatePublished - May 16 2011
EventMedical Imaging 2011: Visualization, Image-Guided Procedures, and Modeling - Lake Buena Vista, FL, United States
Duration: Feb 13 2011Feb 15 2011

Publication series

NameProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)1605-7422


OtherMedical Imaging 2011: Visualization, Image-Guided Procedures, and Modeling
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityLake Buena Vista, FL


  • Elasticity imaging
  • Ultrasound
  • Visualization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


Dive into the research topics of 'Multi-dimensional transfer functions for effective visualization of streaming ultrasound and elasticity images'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this