A Virtual Reality System for PTCD Simulation Using Direct Visuo-Haptic Rendering of Partially Segmented Image Data

IEEE J Biomed Health Inform. 2016 Jan;20(1):355-66. doi: 10.1109/JBHI.2014.2381772. Epub 2014 Dec 18.


This study presents a new visuo-haptic virtual reality (VR) training and planning system for percutaneous transhepatic cholangio-drainage (PTCD) based on partially segmented virtual patient models. We only use partially segmented image data instead of a full segmentation and circumvent the necessity of surface or volume mesh models. Haptic interaction with the virtual patient during virtual palpation, ultrasound probing and needle insertion is provided. Furthermore, the VR simulator includes X-ray and ultrasound simulation for image-guided training. The visualization techniques are GPU-accelerated by implementation in Cuda and include real-time volume deformations computed on the grid of the image data. Computation on the image grid enables straightforward integration of the deformed image data into the visualization components. To provide shorter rendering times, the performance of the volume deformation algorithm is improved by a multigrid approach. To evaluate the VR training system, a user evaluation has been performed and deformation algorithms are analyzed in terms of convergence speed with respect to a fully converged solution. The user evaluation shows positive results with increased user confidence after a training session. It is shown that using partially segmented patient data and direct volume rendering is suitable for the simulation of needle insertion procedures such as PTCD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biliary Tract Surgical Procedures / education
  • Computer Simulation
  • Digestive System Surgical Procedures / education*
  • Drainage / methods*
  • Equipment Design
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional / methods*
  • Liver / surgery*
  • Needles
  • User-Computer Interface*