Lucas Report – 3DQ Lab 2009

The Stanford 3D medical imaging laboratory is guided by the mission of developing and applying innovative techniques for efficient analysis and display of medical imaging data through interdisciplinary collaboration. Since 1996, our clinical goal has been to deliver 3D imaging advances as rapidly as possible for the swift and accurate diagnosis and treatment of disease; our educational goal is to disseminate knowledge and duplicate our 3D services at other institutions. To facilitate the bridge between innovation and other clinical use of technology, we also continue to serve as an imaging core lab for medical device developers.


Clinical: Over the past year, the 3D laboratory has continued its operations simultaneously in the Lucas Center as well as the James H. Clark Center, a building dedicated to interdisciplinary science. With the addition of the Stanford Medical Imaging centers in Palo Alto and Redwood City, our average monthly 3D volume has increased to approximately 915 examinations, and we have processed over 67,000 examinations overall since our inception. The majority of our referrals continue to come from vascular surgery, cardiothoracic surgery, gastroenterology, cardiology, urology, reconstructive surgery, orthopedics, and neurosurgery. Laura Pierce, 3D Lab Manager, describes the significant increase in 3D technology in all types of CT employment settings from 1993 through 2007 in a recent article entitled Trends in 3-D CT Postprocessing.

Education: This year the 3D lab has been attended by international visiting scholars from Japan, as well as Stanford Radiology fellows, residents, and medical students who acquire skills in 3D interpretation as part of their medical training. Stanford researchers from engineering and medical departments have also been trained in acquiring 3D images and data for research projects, including video microscopy, electron microscopy, and multimodality small animal imagers. The 3D lab has hosted visiting radiologists and technologists from other medical centers through our 3D clinical fellowship program.


3D imaging specialists include: Laura Pierce, 3D lab manager; senior 3D technologists Marc Sofilos and Linda Novello; 3D technologists Keshni Kumar; William Johnsen, Nancy Ware and Shannon Walters. Our technologists offer not only expertise in 3D imaging, but also experience in CT and MRI scanning techniques as well. Support staff includes administrative assistants Lakeesha Winston and Debra Frank, and database administrator, Kala Raman. The research arm of the lab retains an annual average of 12 engineering graduate students and postdoctoral scholars as well as 2 clinical MD researchers. Both 3D lab locations include a central area table that invites professional collaboration and student desks and carrels for independent research. The lab equipment encompasses a total of 13 advanced 3D workstations; three servers, which provide remote 3D rendering to the Stanford medical community; and two research and development servers for image and data storage. Two remote PACS workstations allow access to all Stanford medical imaging and reporting.

We continue our excellent relationships with corporate developers of 3D workstations (e.g., GE Healthcare, TeraRecon, and Vital Images) who site their hardware and software in the 3D lab in anticipation of our feedback. These relationships ensure that we maintain the most advanced multi-dimensional analytical technologies available. To expedite workflow, future clinical applications include migration of all 3D software applications to centrally located vendor-supplied servers, for immediately sharing post-processed patient data throughout our enterprise.


The 3D Medical Imaging Lab continues to function as an international leader in clinical care, teaching, and research in medical imaging analysis. The confluence of talented, medical and engineering expertise as well as the most up-to-date equipment has been a consistent source of innovative developments in diagnostic and treatment planning approaches. References: Pierce LP, Rosenberg J, Neustel S. Trends in 3-D CT Postprocessing. Radiologic Technology, Sept/Oct 2009, Vol 81, No1.