Fraxinus  18.10
An IGT application
Fraxinus user manual

Fraxinus user manual

Table of contents:

This document

The Fraxinus procedure and setup is described in this document.

The help pages are context sensitive, meaning that the current page might change when the user clicks different places in the program. Since these help documents are based on the underlying CustusX, much of the content might not be relevant for Fraxinus users. To come back to this page, use the back/forward arrows at the top, or use the leftmost button to bring up the complete help content. The Fraxinus specific help pages will be at the top of the list.

Use the question mark at the top of the Fraxinus window to bring up the help pages in the different workflow steps.


On Windows laptops, it is at the time necessary to set Fraxinus to run with the integrated graphics card. See also Troubleshooting.

Description of the Fraxinus procedure

This is a short introduction to the workflow in Fraxinus. The workflow is separated in workflow steps which normally should be followed in sequential order. Many actions will automatically take you to the next workflow step. A more detailed description of each workflow step is given after this introduction in Detailed description of the workflow steps.

At the top of the Fraxinus window you see the workflow toolbar. You can see which step you are currently at, and you can select a different step by clicking on its icon on the toolbar. Hold the mouse over each step's icon to see the name.

  • New/Load Patient - When you start Fraxinus, you will be in the New/Load Patient step. You must create a new patient the first time you use Fraxinus. When you have selected a name and location, you will be taken to the next workflow step.
  • Import - In the Import step you should first open your folder with the DICOM images. Next, expand and select the folder containing the DICOM series you want to import as a volume. Click Import, and when the import process has finished you are taken to the next step.
  • Process - For a new patient, the Process step should be fully automatic and you should see a timer which shows the progress on the calculations. The Process step does a segmentation of the lung airways, creating a surface model and the corresponding centerline through the branches. From the center line, it also creates a straight centerline model with tubes around to be used for alternative visualization. Tests show that most lung volumes should be processed within a couple of minutes. When the calculations are done, you are taken to the next step.
  • Pinpoint - In this step you can navigate in the 2D images (ACS) of your volume to find a target for the virtual bronchoscopy. Use a combination of clicking, dragging and zooming to find your target with the crosshair. Click the Set Target button and a route to the target will be created along the airway centerlines and you will be taken to the next step.
  • Virtual bronchoscopy Fly Through - Here you use the slider to move the camera along the centerline from the entry of the trachea to your target. You can also see the camera position in the 2D images and in relation to the surface model. There are two wheels to rotate the bronchoscope and to tilt it left or right, and a button to reset the camera. You can select to view the original lung volume or an artificial, transparent tube model of the airways. There is a distance metric which gives you the direct distance, i.e. the distance in a straight line, between your position and the target point. From this step, you can go back to the Pinpoint step to create paths to different targets or you can go to the last step for a different view. You can also go back to any of the other steps. See Virtual bronchoscopy Fly Through for a list of keyboard shortcuts.
  • Virtual Bronchoscopy Cut Planes - This step has the same controls as the previous step, but it has switched the main 3D view. Here you can see the surface model of the lungs together with the imported volume. The volume is cut with a plane at the tip of the bronchoscope. From this step you can go to any of the other steps.

Detailed description of the workflow steps

New/Load Patient

In this step you can create a new or load an old patient. There is also a button to Restore factory settings. If you change some settings in the program which you are not able to undo, or the program for some reason starts to behave badly, you can use this button to return the program to its original state. This button deletes the folder Fraxinus_settings in your home folder. If anything seems to be wrong with the program, deleting this folder and starting it again might help.


There is one important limitation in Fraxinus, it only works as intended if there is one and only one volume imported per patient at a time. If you want to try to import a different CT series, you should start over by making a new patient.

If you have more than one Dicom series to choose between, select one with preferably slice thickness 2.0 mm or less. For Siemens CT series, look for the name Thorax 1.0 B30.

By clicking the Advanced button, you get access to a couple of features to get more info from your DICOM images. See also Dicom plugin.


Usually this step is fully automatic when you perform the normal Fraxinus workflow sequence on a new patient. However, the segmentation algorithm might not always be able to segment the airways from a given input volume. Any number of reasons can cause this, e.g. poor image quality. One thing which might help is to check the Use manual seed point box. You then select a point inside trachea which the algorithm should work from:

  • Make sure that the volume you want to segment is visible in the 2D and 3D view by right clicking and selecting it.
  • Click in the 2D views and place the crosshair freely inside the trachea.
  • Press the Play button, and hopefully the algorithm will succeed.

Here follows a general description of the options in this step. The algorithm which creates a surface model from the imported volume, is implemented through a CustusX concept called Filter. Hence, we can see that the Airway Segmentation Filter is selected.

In the Input field one can select the volume one wants to segment. After pressing the Play button, the algorithm should run and the output will appear in the boxes:

  • Airway centerline is the centerline through the trachea and the branches in the lung three.
  • Airway segmentation is the surface model of the lung three.
  • Lung segmentation: if the Lung segmentation checkbox is checked, this will also create a segmentation of the lung sack.
  • Straight centerline: If the Straight centerline and tubes checkbox is checked, you will get a centerline with straight branches between the bifurcation points.
  • Straight airway tubes: If the Straight centerline and tubes checkbox is checked, you will get a tube object which fits around the straight centerline.

You can use the Eye button next to the boxes to show or hide the respective objects in the 3D scene. You can also right click in the 3D or 2D views to show or hide objects. To delete an object, select it in a box and press the Trashcan button twice.


Use this step to set a target for the virtual bronchoscopy. If the images get away from you, you can use the button with the crosshair next to the target name to get them back to the center. You can change the target name if you want to save routes to different targets for the next step.

Virtual bronchoscopy Fly Through

Here you move the camera through the airways to your target. The blue line, which you can see when you approach the closest point to the target inside the airways, indicate an extension from the center of the airways perpendicular out to the target.

If you want to go back to the Pinpoint step and set the target again, a tip is to slide the camera all the way to the target. In this way, you already are in the lower part of the lungs when you return to the images in the Pinpoint step.

The Tubes view lets you fly through an artificial, transparent tube model of the airways, created around a straight centerline. The camera path, however, is based on the real centerline. Therefore you might see that the camera goes outside the tubes at times, especially at the start of the trachea. The tubes are meant to give an additional overview of the layout of the airways. One should go back and forth between the views to get comfortable with the airways. Note that the tubes are based on the centerline, which might not have the complete layout of the lung three. However, the volume view should have all the information from the images.

The slider, the wheels for the endoscope orientation, the reset button and the view can be controlled from the keyboard. Use the arrows and page up/page down for the endoscope. Reset is at the 5 key and toggle the view with V,T and 7. One can also use the numpad. Make sure that the Num lock button is in the right setting.

You can zoom in the views by using either a mouse wheel or two fingers up or down on a mouse pad. Note that the main view is zoomed in very much already, so you need quite much scrolling to zoom out.

If you are not happy with the color and/or texture of your volume, you can edit the transfer function. See Appendix A: For advanced users.

Virtual Bronchoscopy Cut Planes

See the previous step.


  • Most things needed to know to use Fraxinus are explained above.
  • As a general recommendation, if something seems to be very wrong, try a restart of the program. If that doesn't help, use the Restore factory settings button in the first step to clean the Fraxinus_settings folder and restart the program.
  • Try to create a new patient if something seems to be wrong with your patient.
  • Fraxinus has some issues when running on Windows laptops. It is necessary to set fraxinus to run on the integrated graphics card, rather than on any external ones. If not, one might experience hangs or crashes after several workflow step changes, or when running the Lung sack segmentation. Still, when running on the integrated card, the memory usage of Fraxinus might become very high. One can use the Windows task manager to monitor this. The recommended practice is to close Fraxinus after each session to release the memory. For a computer with a NVIDIA external graphics card, the way to change to the internal card is: open the NVIDIA control panel from the NVIDIA settings icon in the lower right on the task bar. Go to the Manage 3D settings -> Program settings. Add the Fraxinus.exe from your installation and select Integrated graphics.
  • The Airway segmentation in the Process step might hang on certain unusual or "bad" Dicom series. If so, you might have to restart the computer if nothing happens after several minutes.
  • It has been seen that CT images with low resolution might give some strange twists in the camera path along the branches.
  • It has been seen that the 3D view in some steps might be empty upon entering the step. In that case, going to another step and then back should fill the view.
  • Don't use Norwegian or other special characters in the target name field.
  • To make the arrows control the camera in the fly through view, it has been necessary to override all other keyboard input in those steps. Meaning e.g. that the "R" button can't be used to center the image in the steps containing this view.
  • If the arrow keys seem to stop working, a single or more presses on the "Tab" key on the keyboard might solve this. This has been seen on Mac after setting a new target. Sometimes the side view of the endoscope might also hang. Rotating and moving back/forth might make the side view work again.
  • You might experience that the line you are navigating after in the Fly through step gets a small curl. By zooming in more you can get rid of this curl.
  • To get more output in possible error situations, run Fraxinus from a command window: use the Windows button + R, type cmd and press enter. Here navigate to the folder with your Fraxinus.exe and run the command:
    set_run_environment.bat Fraxinus.exe

Appendix A: For advanced users

Fraxinus is a layer on top of CustusX which gives a smooth and simple workflow for doing virtual bronchoscopy. The user interface has been made as clean and simple as possible, and everything which is needed for the users of Fraxinus is available by default.

However, for advanced users who want to have access to more functionality, it is possible to right click on the top of the window to enable the rest of the widgets and toolbars of CustusX.

To e.g. edit the transfer function of the volume in the Fly through step, right click and open the Volume Properties widget. Go to the Transfer Functions tab and drag the values or right click to remove or set new points. Right click on the color bar to customize the colors. Note that going between workflow steps will reset many of the widget, help and object layouts to the Fraxinus default settings.

To enable the menu bar with all the options from CustusX: open the file


where you must use the your_user_name you have on your computer. Change showMenuBar=false to showMenuBar=true. Then start the program. One thing this enables is e.g. import of the lung volume from .mhd files. You will find more help on the CustusX features in other parts of the help system.