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<p>Advances in 3D computerized visualization of the human body are transforming liver cancer treatment. The authors describe their technique for using volume rendering of computerized tomography (CT) imaging data to generate a 3D map of the liver. This map gives surgeons vital information about liver tumor location relative to key blood vessels and other important body structures. This is particularly important for minimally invasive surgery, which permits less complete visualization than a standard surgical incision. The authors' technique could also help doctors determine which cases are operable without having to perform exploratory surgery. The key, the authors explain, is recent computer science and image-processing developments that obtain more information from data sets than just the visual display of a tumor. Advances in computer graphics hardware technology allow creation of volume-rendered images at near real-time speeds, using commercially available computer systems. The authors explain the importance of segmentation and volume rendering technologies in this effort. In addition, they discuss research and future directions in such areas as interactive tools, image-guided surgery, and virtual reality.</p>

E. K. Fishman, B. S. Kuszyk, L. Gao, D. G. Heath and B. Cabral, "Surgical Planning for Liver Resection," in Computer, vol. 29, no. , pp. 64-72, 1996.
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