The interpretation of radiological image is routine but it remains a rather difficult task for physicians. It requires complex mental processes, that permit translation from 2D slices into 3D localization and volume determination of visible diseases. An easier and more extensive visualization and exploitation of medical images can be reached through the use of computer-based systems that provide real help from patient admission to post-operative followup. In this way, we have developed a 3D visualization interface linked to a PACS database that allows manipulation and interaction on virtual organs delineated from CT-scan or MRI. This software provides the 3D real-time surface rendering of anatomical structures, an accurate evaluation of volumes and distances and the improvement of radiological image analysis and exam annotation through a negatoscope tool. It also provides a tool for surgical planning allowing the positioning of an interactive laparoscopic instrument and the organ resection. The software system could revolutionize the field of computerized imaging technology. Indeed, it provides a handy and portable tool for pre-operative and intra-operative analysis of anatomy and pathology in various medical fields. This constitutes the first step of the future development of augmented reality and surgical simulation systems.© (2002) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.