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Safer, more accurate radiation therapy for expecting mothers
Date:12/18/2007

antom creation simply cannot account for the rapid changes of a pregnant womans internal physiology as her organs shift to accommodate the growing fetus. So instead of employing the conventional constructive solid geometry (CSG) tools to construct the computer model, Xu and his team turned to boundary representations (BREP) tools. CSG models are based on building and connecting simple shapes such as spheres, cones, and cylinders to create a larger structure.

BREP is more flexible and features a more robust toolbox for manipulating the surface of model components. BREP is widely used in the manufacturing industry for computer-aided design , and in the entertainment industry to create computer-animated models for movies and video games, Xu said. As it turns out, BREP software is also highly effective for creating medical phantoms consisting of complex organs.

Using this new set of tools, Xu and his team created three 3-D models of pregnant females at various gestational stages: three months, six months, and nine months. The team built the models of the expecting mother and fetus organ by organ, relying on computer-generated mesh models, as well as supplanting the model with data from rare CT scan images of a pregnant patient. The images were taken around 2004 in an upstate New York hospital, in a situation where both the woman and her physician were unaware she was pregnant. The existence of such scans was publicized, and Xu contacted the physician to obtain copies of the scans.

Xu said BREP turned out to be extremely effective for modeling the complex topology of human organs, and he expects the practice to catch on.

We are convinced that it would have been impossible to develop such a complete, consistent, and anatomically realistic set of models from medical images that are hard to come by, Xu said. It is clear that the current trend will continue to involve BREP type of modeling.

The research project, funded by the N
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Contact: Michael Mullaney
mullam@rpi.edu
518-276-6161
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute  
Source:Eurekalert

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