The use of integrated visualization for medical images aims at assisting clinicians in the difficult task of mentally translating and integrating medical image data from multiple sources into a three-dimensional (3D) representation of the patient. This interpretation of the enormous amount and complexity of contemporary, multiparameter, and multimodal image data demands efficient methods for integrated presentation. This article reviews methods for fused display with the main focus on integration of functional with anatomical images. First, an overview of integrated two-dimensional (2D) and 3D medical image display techniques is presented, and topics related to the interpretation of the integrated images are discussed. Then we address the key issue for clinical acceptance, ie, whether these novel visualization techniques lead to diagnostic improvements. Methods for fused display appear to be powerful tools to assist the clinician in the retrieval of relevant information from multivariate medical image data. Evaluation of the different methods for fused display indicates that the diagnostic process improves, notably as concerns the anatomical localization (typically of functional processes), the registration procedure, enhancement of signal, and efficiency of information presentation (which increases speed of interpretation and comprehension). Consequently, fused display improves communication with referring specialists, increases confidence in the observations, and facilitates the intra- and intersubject comparison of a large part of the data from the different sources, thereby simplifying the extraction of additional, valuable information. In most diagnostic tasks the clinician is served best by providing several (interactive and flexible) 2D and 3D methods for fused display for a thorough assessment of the wealth of image information from multiple sources.,
Seminars in Nuclear Medicine
Department of Radiology

Stokking, R., Zubal, I. G., & Viergever, M. (2003). Display of fused images: Methods, interpretation, and diagnostic improvements. Seminars in Nuclear Medicine (Vol. 33, pp. 219–227). doi:10.1053/snuc.2003.127311