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High resolution volume imaging of airways and lung parenchyma with multislice CT.
Chooi WK, Morcos SK.Department of Diagnostic Imaging, Northern General Hospital, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Herries Road, Sheffield S5 7AU, UK.

The value of multislice CT (MSCT) in imaging the peripheral airways and lung parenchyma has not been widely investigated. In this article the authors' experience in the use of MSCT (4-slice scanner) in imaging patients with suspected parenchymal lung disease or airways abnormalities will be presented. The technique described should be modified with the more modern 8-slice or 16-slice scanners. The whole thorax is scanned contiguously using 4 x 1 mm collimation from the lung bases up to apices in end-inspiration while the patient is in the prone position. Collimation of 2 x 0.5 mm is used at 8-10 levels evenly spaced in expiratory scans and also in the breathless patient who is scanned during gentle breathing. High resolution images of the lungs (1 mm slice thickness) are reconstructed in the following planes: axial (10 mm apart from apices to bases), coronal (six evenly spaced through the chest) and sagittal (four images evenly spaced through each lung). Paddlewheel reconstruction is used if further assessment of the airways is required, and three-dimensional imaging is used mainly for assessment of the trachea and major bronchi. Contiguous axial images (10 mm slice thickness) of the whole lung and mediastinum are also produced and referred to as a screenogram. Axial images of 1 mm slice thickness are produced with expiratory scans and for breathless patients. All the images are produced independently by the radiographic staff and are provided as hard copies (20 frames/film) for reporting. However, if facilities are adequate, direct reporting from the workstation is more effective in reviewing large number of images. The technique is effective in assessment of infiltrative lung disease, emphysema, bronchiectasis and central airways. The screenogram offers comprehensive evaluation of the lung and mediastinum, but the radiation dose associated with high resolution volume imaging remains a source of concern.

Br J Radiol. 2004 Dec;77 Suppl 1:S98-S105.

journal watch Reviewed by Sumer Sethi on Wednesday, November 24, 2004 Rating: 5

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