Another significant feature upgrading to 3Dicom Pro gives users is the ability to measure, markup and annotate. In conjunction with this, upgrading also gives users the ability to save and share these measurements. One of the key benefits to being able to save and share measurements is more quantitative analysis of our scans, rather than just observing and estimating. So what do measurements and mark-ups actually do for the user?
What do Measurements and Markups do?
When upgrading to 3Dicom Pro, users are given five different types of measurement tools we can use on 2D images of a scan. These measurement and mark-up tools are not accessible on 3Dicom Lite. For a guide on how to upgrade from 3Dicom Lite to Pro, please refer to the following tutorial. Let’s find out what these measurement and mark-up features are and what they do. The measurement and mark-up tools can be located in the ‘Measure’ tab in the sidebar on the left hand side.
- Length (2D Point to Point)
- This feature gives users the ability to measure from point to point within a scan along one straight line. This is typically used for measuring simple parts of the anatomy or measuring the distance between two points.
- Common uses of this tool include measuring the length of straight bones, finding the width of organs or gauging how large specific orthopaedic hardware such as screws or plates are.
- All lengths are in millimetres (mm)
- Polygon (Perimeter & Area)
- This features gives users the ability to measure the perimeter and within a scan. The use of the polygon feature is typically used to measure the perimeter and/or area of complex parts of the anatomy that possess a large number of corners and curves such as the brain, lungs or the jaw.
- All perimeter and area measurements are in millimetres squared (mm2)
- Circle (Diameter & Area
- This feature gives users the ability to measure the diameter and area of a rounded part of the scan. Users can change the shape of the ellipse to match the specific part of the anatomy such as a thin oval or a perfectly rounded circle.
- Common uses of this tool include estimating the area of lymph nodes or rounded vertebrae and pre-Lithotripsy assessment.
- All diameter and area measurements are in millimetres squared (mm2)
- Angle (2D Point to Point)
- This feature gives users the ability to measure a specific angle within a scan. Users can employ this tool when wanting to find out how angulated a specific part of the anatomy is or even the angle of a scan.
- Common uses of this tool include measuring the angle of a break or dislocation or measuring what angle orthopaedic hardware needs to positioned in.
- All point to point measurements are in degrees (°)
- Cobb Angle Tool
- This feature gives users the ability to measure the curvature of a specific part of the human anatomy; typically the spine and it’s vertebrae.
- The Cobb Angle Tool is typically used in measuring abnormal spinal curvature and is a significant tool is analysing the progression of ‘Scoliosis’ and ‘Lordosis’.
- All Cobb Angle Tool measurements are in degrees (°)
How to use Measurement and Mark-up Tools
It may appear to be overwhelming for the user with the large number of measurement tools, however, these features are very easy to use and can significantly improve our analysis of scans. Firstly, users must load our scan in that we are analysing. For a guide on how to load any type of scan into 3Dicom, please refer to the following tutorial.
Before using any measurement and mark-up tools, we must place the scan in a 2D View. 3Dicom Pro does not give us the ability to measure and mark-up on 3D views of scans. To use 3D measurement tools, please upgrade to 3Dicom Surgical. Scans can be placed in a 2D view by clicking the ‘Expand’ button shown below and by choosing either a Sagittal view (left to right), Coronal view (front to back) or Axial View (top to bottom).
For the following guide, a Sagittal (left to right) view will be used.
Length (2D Point to Point)
The length measurement tool is the first tool on the 2D measurements list. To begin using this tool, simple select the tool and mark the first point on the scan. Once the first point in the scan is placed, we can then extend the straight line in any direction using our cursor, and then place the second point when we would like. Figure 1 in the below image will illustrate the length window which tells us the length of the line we are drawing in millimetres (mm). Figure 2 directs us to the line history window which shows us any previous lines we have drawn. Figure 3 is the current point to point line we have drawn.
Polygon (Perimeter & Area)
The polygon measure tool is the next tool on the 2D Measurements List. To begin using this tool, simply select the tool and mark your first point within an area you are measuring. Once the first point is selected, we can keep tracing along a specific area by making continuous points by clicking. Points can be left along a trail to be very close to each other (which is recommended for an area with many curves and points) or distant (if the area possesses many straight, simple components). Figure 1 in the below image will illustrate the area window which tells us the area of the shape we are drawing in millimetres squared (mm2). Figure 2 directs us to the line area history window which shows us any previous area we have sketched. Figure 3 is the current area we have drawn.
Circle (Diameter & Area)
The circle measure tool is one of the less commonly used measurement tools however still remains significantly important during scan analysis. To begin using this tool, simply select tool and begin stretching out the ellipse. Stretching out the circle horizontally, will create a more horizontal ellipse and stretching the circle our vertically, will create a more vertical ellipse. Figure 1 in the below image will illustrate the area window which tells us the area of the ellipse we are drawing in millimetres squared (mm2). This is also complimented by also telling us the circumference of the shape. Figure 2 directs us to the line area history window which shows us any previous area we have sketched. Figure 3 is the current ellipse we have drawn. Figure 4 and 5 also shows us two tools we can use to move the ellipse, which is a rotate tool and a move tool which allows us to move the location of the ellipse respectively.
Angle (2D Point to Point)
The angle measure tool is another common tool used. The angle tool is formulated where the user can pick three different points and calculate the angle between these points. To begin using this tool, simply place your three desired points around a specific area by clicking. The first and last point placed will be the points on the outside and the middle point placed is where the angle will be situated. Figure 1 in the below image will illustrate the angle window which tells us tangle we are drawing in degrees (°). Figure 2 directs us to the angle history window which shows us any previous angle sketched. Figure 3 is the current angle we have drawn.
Cobb Angle Tool
The final tool users can employ in their analysis is the Cobb Angle Tool.
How to save Measurements and Markups
Saving our edited medical images is very simple. Our ‘save’ button is located at the top shown in the image below. To save our image including measurements and mark-ups, simply click the save button bringing you to the next screen.
Once save is selected, it will bring us to details of our saved image. Figure 1 details any measurements or annotations we have made. If we would like to abandon any specific measurements from our saved image, simply click the ‘select’ icon shown in Figure 2. The left hand-side will detail the modules that are included in our saved image shown in Figure 3. Similarly to Figure 1, we can abandon any specific module by clicking the ‘select’ icon. Figure 4 details the session name and any notes we would like to make about the scan. Figure 5 is where we can save our detailed scan images. By clicking ‘save’, it will save our image displayed in the location bar on the left. If we would like to change this location, we can select ‘save as’.
All details can be displayed in the image below.
Congratulations. You have just learned how to use the 2D measurements as well as how to save and share these measurements. So what’s next? Maybe you want a guide on how use Hounsfield and Colour Presets? How about viewing DICOM meta-tags?
Please note that this blog is purely for educational and marketing purposes and doesn’t not purport to be medical advice. 3Dicom is currently registered as a TGA Class 1 Visualisation device and is not approved for diagnostic purposes.