A three-dimensional virtual environment for modeling mechanical cardiopulmonary interactions

Jonathan M. Kaye, Frank P. Primiano, Dimitris N. Metaxas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


We have developed a real-time computer system for modeling mechanical physiological behavior in an interactive, 3-D virtual environment. Such an environment can he used to facilitate exploration of cardiopulmonary physiology, particularly in situations that are difficult to reproduce clinically. We integrate 3-D deformable body dynamics with new, formal models of (scalar) cardiorespiratory physiology, associating the scalar physiological variables and parameters with the corresponding 3-D anatomy. Our framework enables us to drive a high-dimensional system (the 3-D anatomical models) from one with fewer parameters (the scalar physiological models) because of the nature of the domain and our intended application. Our approach is amenable to modeling patient-specific circumstances in two ways. First, using CT scan data, we apply semi-automatic methods for extracting and reconstructing the anatomy to use in our simulations. Second, our scalar physiological models are defined in terms of clinically measurable, patient-specific parameters. This paper describes our approach, problems we have encountered and a sample of results showing normal breathing and acute effects of pneumothoraces.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)169-195
Number of pages27
JournalMedical Image Analysis
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1998
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Health Informatics
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


  • Cardiovascular mechanics
  • Computer simulation
  • Physiology visualization
  • Respiratory mechanics
  • Virtual reality

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