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Proceedings Paper

A GPU-based fiber tracking framework using geometry shaders
Author(s): Alexander Köhn; Jan Klein; Florian Weiler; Heinz-Otto Peitgen
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Paper Abstract

The clinical application of fiber tracking becomes more widespread. Thus it is of high importance to be able to produce high quality results in a very short time. Additionally, research in this field would benefit from fast implementation and evaluation of new algorithms. In this paper we present a GPU-based fiber tracking framework using latest features of commodity graphics hardware such as geometry shaders. The implemented streamline algorithm performs fiber reconstruction of a whole brain using 30,000 seed points in less than 120 ms on a high-end GeForce GTX 280 graphics board. Seed points are sent to the GPU which emits up to a user-defined number of fiber points per seed vertex. These are recorded to a vertex buffer that can be rendered or downloaded to main memory for further processing. If the output limit of the geometry shader is reached before the stopping criteria are fulfilled, the last vertices generated are then used in a subsequent pass where the geometry shader continues the tracking. Since all the data resides on graphics memory the intermediate steps can be visualized in real-time. The fast reconstruction not only allows for an interactive change of tracking parameters but, since the tracking code is implemented using GPU shaders, even for a runtime change of the algorithm. Thus, rapid development and evaluation of different algorithms and parameter sets becomes possible, which is of high value for e.g. research on uncertainty in fiber tracking.

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 March 2009
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 7261, Medical Imaging 2009: Visualization, Image-Guided Procedures, and Modeling, 72611J (13 March 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.812219
Show Author Affiliations
Alexander Köhn, Fraunhofer MEVIS, Institute for Medical Image Computing (Germany)
Jan Klein, Fraunhofer MEVIS, Institute for Medical Image Computing (Germany)
Florian Weiler, Fraunhofer MEVIS, Institute for Medical Image Computing (Germany)
Heinz-Otto Peitgen, Fraunhofer MEVIS, Institute for Medical Image Computing (Germany)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7261:
Medical Imaging 2009: Visualization, Image-Guided Procedures, and Modeling
Michael I. Miga; Kenneth H. Wong, Editor(s)

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