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Chad Haney
Works at Northwestern University
Attended Illinois Institute of Technology
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Chad Haney

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Medical visualization, it's what I see and do
I was going to summarize an article about the history of medical visualization that was discussed in MIT Technology Review in 2012.
The Future of Medical Visualisation
However, I think that the #OpenAccess  article that they reference does a good job on its own. It's kind of strange to think of a review of a review of a review article.
From individual to population: Challenges in Medical Visualization

Rather than review the review of the review, I'll add a few comments and answer your questions. So read either the MIT Tech Rev article or the journal article and ask questions. This is an opportunity to talk to a scientist that works in the medical imaging field.

The article mentions multi-modal volume visualization. If you have been following my  #CHMedicalImagingSeries then you know that each imaging technique (modality) has strengths and weaknesses. Combining imaging modalities, like the MRI and CT below of my head, allow you to take advantages of the strengths and minimize the weaknesses. To get the best out of multi-modality imaging you need to be able to fuse the images. The technical term is image registration or some like image co-registration. There is a lot of research in just this technique to make it more automated. One common technique is called mutual information. Our brains can easily tell that the dark material in MRI is bone (e.g. my skull) and it should match the bright material in CT. Mutual information tells the computer to consider that bright could equal dark by normalizing the images first. The principal axes of the objects are also used to register (align/fuse) the two images. For therapy planning, both surgery (cosmetic) and tumor resection/radiation, multi-modality imaging can have a huge benefit. They mention that in 1993 Altobelli used multi-modality imaging to visualize the possible outcome of complicated craniofacial surgery.

Another use of medical imaging visualization is virtual colonoscopy. Visualization tools that you need are surface/volume rendering, skeletonization, and segmentation.
UCSF Radiology: What Virtual Colonoscopy CT Scans Look Like

Surface/volume rendering is just what it sounds like. The data is analyzed and the surface can be identified and displayed with shading and lighting such that it looks 3D. You can make it true 3D with the right equipment (3D glasses, 3D monitor, and software to split the data into left and right views) but that's not essential. It can't be emphasized enough that modern GPUs have made these difficult calculations become trivial. Some of the early animation work and medical image visualization required high end UNIX workstations. Now that same level of visualization can be done with a low-end gaming PC.

Segmentation is also, just as it sounds. There are automated and manual segmentation tools. For example in the heart and skeleton images below, the tissue of interest has been segmented out of the "background" tissue, e.g., the internal organs, muscle, etc. Again, there is research in this technique alone. Our brain can look at a medical image and identify parts of the brain or organs quickly. "Teaching" a computer program to do that automagically is very difficult, especially if there is motion due to breathing. In that case, you may have to use image registration to get rid of the motion blurring first.

Skeletonization is a process of identifying paths. For colonoscopy, that would be teaching the program to traverse the path of the colon. I've done work where we were measuring blood vessel diameters in a pulmonary hypertension model. Skeletonization was used to automatically identify each part of the vascular tree. From there, it was easy for the software to measure each diameter.

The first three images are fused images of a CT and MRI of me. The yellow surface rendered part is from CT as it shows bone (skull) very well. The grey-scale part of the image is MRI which shows soft tissue very well. The rest of the images are from a Toshiba 320 slice CT. In CT technology, a ring of detectors is used capture the signal from the x-ray source. Each ring is called a slice in clinical CT machines. For a while 64 slice was considered the best. Now 256 and 320 slice machines are becoming available. More slices means you can cover a larger area in a shorter amount of time. So highly detailed images of the heart can be acquired without motion artifacts from the beating heart. Likewise for the lungs.

Here's a few older posts that will hopefully help you understand the article.

Medical Imaging 101 pt 1 (
Medical Imaging 101 pt 2: CT (
Medical Imaging 101 pt 3: MRI (
Functional vs. anatomic image (
Visible Human project (
Eye of Horus post (

Image sources other than the above article:
Lung and brain CT images (

CT Heart (
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I like how it turned out.
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Happy #FloralFriday .
Too much rain and cool weather. Most of my flowers aren't doing well. 
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Dog Logic
This is logic my dog would agree with.
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This is very funny!!
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I think I need this
+Michelle C and +Erica NoK, need, want, or must have? Too bad their apricot IPA is only on the west coast.
I should be getting my Chinga tu Pelo T-shirt soon, along with a bottle opener/re-sealer from Good Beer Hunting.
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Cyanide and sadness (pouts) 

But I will get the opener 
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Have him in circles
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Chad Haney

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#GooglePlusNatureChallenge Day 4 of 5
+Gnotic Pasta invited me to take the #GooglePlusNatureChallenge. You are supposed to post pictures of nature for 5 days. I kind of goofed up that part.

Here's an #autoawesome  pano of Langer Lake, ID. I still haven't finished sorting through my photos to post something about my recent hiking trip. I had a great time hiking with +Gnotic Pasta and two of his sons. 

I invite +Ryan Prince to the #GooglePlusNatureChallenge
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Yeah, the burned areas really make it look horrible.  I was just showing Asal pictures from 2008 of what it looked like before the fires. Dramatically different. 
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Cancer Immunotherapy HOA in a few minutes
It's a hot topic in the news and you'll learn what's really going on. I plan on a follow up with a colleague from the Mayo Clinic so stay tuned.
What does the immune system have to do with cancer? What exactly is immunotherapy? Join us for a +Cancer Research UK and +Science on Google+ Hangout on Air as we speak to Professor +Frances Balkwill and Professor +Ben Willcox about cancer immunotherapy. 

Fran is a Professor of Cancer Biology at Queen Mary University in London and is a fantastic science communicator. Her research focuses on the links between cancer and inflammation. Ben is a Professor of Molecular Immunology at the University of Birmingham and his work focuses on understanding immune receptor recognition. 
This HOA will be hosted by Dr +Buddhini Samarasinghe  and Dr +Kat Arney . You can tune in on Friday July 24th at 4 PM UK time. The hangout will be available for viewing on our YouTube channel ( after the event.
This Hangout On Air is hosted by Science on Google+. The live video broadcast will begin soon.
Cancer Immunotherapy
Fri, July 24, 11:00 AM
Hangouts On Air - Broadcast for free

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Spelling Counts
via 95.7 The Rock on that other network.
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I hope it's as good as the first season. 
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Arepalli Rambabu goud
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I'm really enjoying the #GrowingUpAsian  and #GrowingUpThai   hashtags on Twitter. For example, measuring the water for the rice cooker with your finger instead of with a measuring cup. Telling your non-Asian guests to take their shoes off (that's less common now). Sriracha is like ketchup for Thai and Vietnamese people. I guess we are foodie hipsters. I actually don't really like sriracha. Homemade hot sauce that either my mom or aunt makes, is way better.

How about you? Any GrowingUp_ that you care to share?
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She shed her undercoat but isn't a big fan of the hot weather. 
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Resuming #ISeeTheWorldWithScience .
I have not played  #ISeeTheWorldWithScience for a while. The way the game works, if you haven't played before, either tell me what science you see or tell me something about the device that suggests you know what it is. 
Do not just blurt out your guess. I will delete those comments.

For example, if I had an MR image of an onion, you could ask, "is it in the allum family".

Please see pPrevious examples of #ISeeTheWorldWithScience via  +Mark Crowley via +Rajini Rao via +Johnathan Chung via me via me
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+Brook Summers did you read the thread?
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Have him in circles
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  • Illinois Institute of Technology
    BS Chemical Engineering, 1994
  • University of Illinois at Chicago
    PhD Bioengineering, 2001
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Contributor to
I'm the medical imaging, Red Wings, Formula One, Tech guy.
I'm a scientist/engineer interested in image based biomarkers, i.e., non-invasively visualizing disease or response to therapy. I mainly research cancer using MRI, PET/SPECT/CT, and EPRI but I'm also interested in cardiovascular research.

Sports: Big formula one fan, Detroit Red Wings, Chicago Bears, and Chicago White Sox.

Music: I like pretty much everything except country. Big fan of Pink Floyd. Bob Marley is a god-like-hero. I love house music when I'm programming or doing image analysis. Miles Davis is a mutical genius (say it in Gumby's voice).

Misc: love dogs, science/technology (gadgets), cars, bicycling... Also Member of The Incorrigibles.

My passion is science and science is my career choice, so I am grateful to be a co-curator for #ScienceSunday.

Don't circle me if you are not open minded and interested in science. I'm very much against the anti-intellectualism/anti-science movement.

There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."
     Isaac Asimov, column in Newsweek (21 January 1980)

A few more hashtags for me #CHMedicalImagingSeries
Bragging rights
There's a whole country named after me. I also developed a blood substitute when I was a graduate student.
Medical Imaging methods
  • Northwestern University
    Research Professor, 2012 - present
    Managing Director of the Center for Advanced Molecular Imaging
  • University of Chicago
    Research Professor, 2002 - 2012
    In charge of pre-clinical nuclear imaging. Lead multiple cancer research projects involving pre-clinical imaging.
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