A software system for interactive and quantitative visualization of multidimensional biomedical images

Australas Phys Eng Sci Med. 1991 Mar;14(1):9-30.


A comprehensive software system called ANALYZE has been developed which permits detailed investigation and evaluation of 3-D biomedical images. The software can be used with any 2-D or 3-D imaging modality, including x-ray computed tomography, radionuclide emission tomography, ultrasound tomography, magnetic resonance imaging and both light and electron microscopy. The package is unique in its synergistic integration of fully interactive modules for direct display, manipulation and measurement of multidimensional image data. Several original algorithms are included which improve image display efficiency and quality. One of the most versatile and powerful algorithms is interactive volume rendering, which is optimized to be fast without compromising image quality. An important advantage of this technique is to display 3-D images directly from the original data and to provide on-the-fly combinations of selected image transformations and/or volume set operations (union, intersection, difference, etc.). The inclusion of a variety of interactive editing and quantitative mensuration tools significantly extends the usefulness of the software. Any curvilinear path or region-of-interest can be manually specified and/or automatically segmented for numerical determination and statistical analyses of distances, areas, volumes, shapes, densities and textures. ANALYZE is written entirely in "C" and runs on several standard UNIX workstations. It is being used in a variety of applications by over 40 institutions around the world, and has been licensed by Mayo to several imaging companies. The software architecture permits systematic enhancements and upgrades which has fostered development of a readily expandable package. ANALYZE comprises a powerful "visualization workshop" for rapid prototyping of specific application packages, including applications to interactive surgery simulation and radiation treatment planning. ANALYZE offers the potential to accurately and reproducibly examine, from images, the structure and function of any cell, tissue, limb, organ or organ system of the body, much like a surgeon or pathologist might do in real life, but entirely non-invasively, without pain or destruction of tissue. These capabilities promise exciting new insights into the basic processes of life, and major advances in health care delivery through improved diagnosis and treatment of disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Computer Graphics
  • Computer Simulation
  • Computer User Training
  • Diagnostic Imaging*
  • Fourier Analysis
  • General Surgery / methods
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Models, Anatomic*
  • Radiotherapy / methods
  • Software Design*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Ultrasonography