GPU-Based Volume Rendering for Medical Imagery

Hadjira Bentoumi, Pascal Gautron, Kadi Bouatouch
International Journal of Electrical, Computer, and Systems Engineering 4:1 2010, Pages: 36-42


   title={GPU-Based Volume Rendering for Medical Imagery},

   author={Bentoumi, H. and Gautron, P. and Bouatouch, K.},

   journal={International Journal of Electrical, Computer, and Systems Engineering},





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During the quick advancements of medical image visualization and augmented virtual reality application, the low performance of the volume rendering algorithm is still a “bottle neck”. To facilitate the usage of well developed hardware resource, a novel graphics processing unit (GPU)-based volume ray-casting algorithm is proposed in this paper. Running on a normal PC, it performs an interactive rate while keeping the same image quality as the traditional volume rendering algorithm does. Recently, GPU-accelerated direct volume rendering has positioned itself as an efficient tool for the display and visual analysis of volume data. However, for large sized medical image data, it often shows low efficiency for too large memories requested. Furthermore, it always holds a drawback of writing color buffers multi-times per frame. The proposed algorithm improves the situation by implementing ray casting operation completely in GPU. It needs only one slice plane from CPU and one 3Dtexture to store data when GPU calculates the two terminals of the ray and carries out the color blending operation in its pixel programs. So both the rendering speed and the memories consumed are improved, and the algorithm can deal most medical image data on normal PCs in the interactive speed.
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