Adaptive Surface Visualization of Vessels with Animated Blood Flow



The investigation of hemodynamic information for the assessment of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) gained importance in recent years. Improved flow measuring modalities and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations yield in reliable blood flow information. For a visual exploration of the flow information, domain experts are used to investigate the flow information combined with its enclosed vessel anatomy. Since the flow is spatially embedded in the surrounding vessel surface, occlusion problems have to be resolved. A visual reduction of the vessel surface that still provides important anatomical features is required. We accomplish this by applying an adaptive surface visualization inspired by the suggestive contour measure. Furthermore, an illustration is employed to highlight the animated pathlines and to emphasize nearby surface regions. Our approach combines several visualization techniques to improve the perception of surface shape and depth. Thereby, we ensure appropriate visibility of the embedded flow information, which can be depicted with established or advanced flow visualization techniques. We apply our approach to cerebral aneurysms and aortas with simulated and measured blood flow. An informal user feedback with nine domain experts, we confirm the advantages of our approach compared with existing methods, e.g. semi-transparent surface rendering. Additionally, we assessed the applicability and usefulness of the pathline animation with highlighting nearby surface regions.