Multidimensional imaging of the thorax: practical applications.
Over the past decade, faster CT scan times, thinner collimation, and the development of multirow detectors, coupled with the increasing capability of computers to process large amounts of data in short periods of time, have lead to an expansion in the ability to create diagnostically useful two-dimensional (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) images within the thorax. Applications within the thorax include, but are not limited to, evaluation of pulmonary and systemic vasculature, evaluation of the tracheobronchial tree, and delineation of diffuse lung disease. Pulmonary nodule volume and growth can be more accurately predicted, and represents an improvement in the evaluation of the solitary pulmonary nodule. Multiplanar images increase our understanding of thoracic anatomy and can help to guide bronchoscopic procedures. Because there are strengths and weaknesses to all the reconstruction algorithms, the utility of any given technique is dependent on the clinical question to be answered. For instance, although maximum intensity projection imaging (MIP) is helpful in the evaluation of micronodular lung disease, it is of little value in the diagnosis of aortic dissection. As the ability to generate faster and more precise multidimensional images grow, the demand for such imaging is likely to increase. In this review, the authors discuss the various reconstruction techniques available, followed by a discussion of the clinical applications.
Ravenel, JG; McAdams, HP; Remy-Jardin, M; Remy, J
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