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Claudia Schulze-Dobold, Ramin Tadayoni, Ali Erginay, Jurgen Schulze; Three-dimensional OCT-Reconstruction in a Novel Virtual Reality System. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2012;53(14):3118.
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Three-dimensional (3D) reconstruction of optical coherence tomography (OCT) images is a modern technique that helps interpret the images and understand the underlying disease. However, the 3D reconstruction displayed on commercial devices is of limited quality: it is difficult or impossible to adjust the view point and capture the data set from a meaningful perspective. We did a pilot study to evaluate the applicability and impact of a novel virtual reality (VR) system and improved software on clinical diagnostics and research.
We used the images of a tightly spaced (11-30 µm) macular cube of different retinal pathologies acquired with the Heidelberg spectral-domain OCT system. For the 3D reconstruction we used our own volume rendering software, which can drive PC cluster-based VR display systems. No segmentation or pre-classification is required. Data from an OCT can be viewed within minutes of scanning the patient’s eye. Changes of opacity, brightness and contrast can be made in real-time directly from within the VR system. We viewed our data sets in a novel VR system, which is based on a 3 by 3 array of off-the-shelf passive stereo LCD television (TV) sets. Our VR system is brighter and has an order of magnitude higher contrast than projector-based VR environments, which makes it particularly attractive for medical use. The images were compared with the single OCT slides and the 3D reconstruction available on the commercial devices.
The 3D reconstructions show details which are hard to discern on conventional OCT images and the 3D view on the devices. For example, the wall of a macular hole can be seen at an exceptional level of detail, and the visualization of cysts of a diabetic macular edema is greatly improved because the cysts can be viewed from the inside.
Extraordinary 3D-OCT image reconstruction can be achieved with modern visualization systems, which is a significant improvement for their clinical analysis. These systems can process OCT image stacks instantly into high-quality 3D pictures. New 3D TV based VR systems are sufficiently compact and affordable to be installed in a medical unit.
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