Techniques have been developed for extracting three-dimensional (3D) measurements directly and interactively from 3D representations of Cine CT images. In order to obtain 3D measurements the anatomical surface is interrogated directly through the use of a 3D graphical "probe" (line). The probe is interactively positioned and stretched between any visible surface points to allow direct capture of 3D (linear) distance. Distance measurements are updated in real time as the probe dynamically "penetrates" any intervening anatomy while providing valuable depth cuing for visual feedback and probe placement. Curvilinear distance is obtained by stretching the probe over multiple surface points. The probe is implemented using a general z-buffer and is therefore applicable to a variety of 3D imaging techniques.
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