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Tomography, Volume 10, Issue 3 (March 2024) – 10 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Dual-energy CT has been successfully used in clinical practice for advanced tissue characterization beyond that of conventional CT. Several applications can be applied during the post-processing phase to significantly enhance the quality of diagnoses in oncology patients. On the one hand, it can improve the ability to identify hypervascularized and hypovascularized primary lesions, thanks to the use of applications related to iodine maps and monoenergetic applications. On the other hand, numerous other applications can enhance diagnostic accuracy in terms of the sensitivity and specificity of computed tomography in assessing potential complications in oncology patients. Also, DECT objective measurements can be utilized for monitoring treatment response in oncologic patients. View this paper
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16 pages, 5375 KiB  
Article
The Utility of Spectroscopic MRI in Stereotactic Biopsy and Radiotherapy Guidance in Newly Diagnosed Glioblastoma
by Abinand C. Rejimon, Karthik K. Ramesh, Anuradha G. Trivedi, Vicki Huang, Eduard Schreibmann, Brent D. Weinberg, Lawrence R. Kleinberg, Hui-Kuo G. Shu, Hyunsuk Shim and Jeffrey J. Olson
Tomography 2024, 10(3), 428-443; https://doi.org/10.3390/tomography10030033 - 20 Mar 2024
Viewed by 1114
Abstract
Current diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for gliomas have limitations hindering survival outcomes. We propose spectroscopic magnetic resonance imaging as an adjunct to standard MRI to bridge these gaps. Spectroscopic MRI is a volumetric MRI technique capable of identifying tumor infiltration based on its [...] Read more.
Current diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for gliomas have limitations hindering survival outcomes. We propose spectroscopic magnetic resonance imaging as an adjunct to standard MRI to bridge these gaps. Spectroscopic MRI is a volumetric MRI technique capable of identifying tumor infiltration based on its elevated choline (Cho) and decreased N-acetylaspartate (NAA). We present the clinical translatability of spectroscopic imaging with a Cho/NAA ≥ 5x threshold for delineating a biopsy target in a patient diagnosed with non-enhancing glioma. Then, we describe the relationship between the undertreated tumor detected with metabolite imaging and overall survival (OS) from a pilot study of newly diagnosed GBM patients treated with belinostat and chemoradiation. Each cohort (control and belinostat) were split into subgroups using the median difference between pre-radiotherapy Cho/NAA ≥ 2x and the treated T1-weighted contrast-enhanced (T1w-CE) volume. We used the Kaplan–Meier estimator to calculate median OS for each subgroup. The median OS was 14.4 months when the difference between Cho/NAA ≥ 2x and T1w-CE volumes was higher than the median compared with 34.3 months when this difference was lower than the median. The T1w-CE volumes were similar in both subgroups. We find that patients who had lower volumes of undertreated tumors detected via spectroscopy had better survival outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Progress in the Use of Advanced Imaging for Radiation Oncology)
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13 pages, 5245 KiB  
Review
CT Arthrography of the Elbow: What Radiologists Should Know
by Gianluca Folco, Carmelo Messina, Salvatore Gitto, Stefano Fusco, Francesca Serpi, Andrea Zagarella, Mauro Battista Gallazzi, Paolo Arrigoni, Alberto Aliprandi, Marco Porta, Paolo Vitali, Luca Maria Sconfienza and Domenico Albano
Tomography 2024, 10(3), 415-427; https://doi.org/10.3390/tomography10030032 - 11 Mar 2024
Viewed by 1004
Abstract
Computed tomography (CT) arthrography is a quickly available imaging modality to investigate elbow disorders. Its excellent spatial resolution enables the detection of subtle pathologic changes of intra-articular structures, which makes this technique extremely valuable in a joint with very tiny chondral layers and [...] Read more.
Computed tomography (CT) arthrography is a quickly available imaging modality to investigate elbow disorders. Its excellent spatial resolution enables the detection of subtle pathologic changes of intra-articular structures, which makes this technique extremely valuable in a joint with very tiny chondral layers and complex anatomy of articular capsule and ligaments. Radiation exposure has been widely decreased with the novel CT scanners, thereby increasing the indications of this examination. The main applications of CT arthrography of the elbow are the evaluation of capsule, ligaments, and osteochondral lesions in both the settings of acute trauma, degenerative changes, and chronic injury due to repeated microtrauma and overuse. In this review, we discuss the normal anatomic findings, technical tips for injection and image acquisition, and pathologic findings that can be encountered in CT arthrography of the elbow, shedding light on its role in the diagnosis and management of different orthopedic conditions. We aspire to offer a roadmap for the integration of elbow CT arthrography into routine clinical practice, fostering improved patient outcomes and a deeper understanding of elbow pathologies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue CT Arthrography)
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15 pages, 1824 KiB  
Article
Photon Counting Computed Tomography for Accurate Cribriform Plate (Lamina Cribrosa) Imaging in Adult Patients
by Anna Klempka, Eduardo Ackermann, Sven Clausen and Christoph Groden
Tomography 2024, 10(3), 400-414; https://doi.org/10.3390/tomography10030031 - 8 Mar 2024
Viewed by 688
Abstract
Detailed visualization of the cribriform plate is challenging due to its intricate structure. This study investigates how computed tomography (CT) with a novel photon counting (PC) detector enhance cribriform plate visualization compared to traditionally used energy-integrated detectors in patients. A total of 40 [...] Read more.
Detailed visualization of the cribriform plate is challenging due to its intricate structure. This study investigates how computed tomography (CT) with a novel photon counting (PC) detector enhance cribriform plate visualization compared to traditionally used energy-integrated detectors in patients. A total of 40 patients were included in a retrospective analysis, with half of them undergoing PC CT (Naeotom Alpha Siemens Healthineers, Forchheim, Germany) and the other half undergoing CT scans using an energy-integrated detector (Somatom Sensation 64, Siemens, Forchheim, Germany) in which the cribriform plate was visualized with a temporal bone protocol. Both groups of scans were evaluated for signal-to-noise ratio, radiation dose, the imaging quality of the whole scan overall, and, separately, the cribriform plate and the clarity of volume rendering reconstructions. Two independent observers conducted a qualitative analysis using a Likert scale. The results consistently demonstrated excellent imaging of the cribriform plate with the PC CT scanner, surpassing traditional technology. The visualization provided by PC CT allowed for precise anatomical assessment of the cribriform plate on multiplanar reconstructions and volume rendering imaging with reduced radiation dose (by approximately 50% per slice) and higher signal-to-noise ratio (by approximately 75%). In conclusion, photon-counting technology provides the possibility of better imaging of the cribriform plate in adult patients. This enhanced imaging could be utilized in skull base-associated pathologies, such as cerebrospinal fluid leaks, to visualize them more reliably for precise treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Neuroimaging)
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22 pages, 16812 KiB  
Review
Musculoskeletal Pitfalls on Molecular Imaging Studies of Oncologic Patients: How to Stay Out of Trouble
by Brooke Sarna, Ty Subhawong, Efrosyni Sfakianaki, Richard Wang, Anna Christodoulou-Vega and Fabiano N. Cardoso
Tomography 2024, 10(3), 378-399; https://doi.org/10.3390/tomography10030030 - 8 Mar 2024
Viewed by 733
Abstract
An increasing amount of molecular imaging studies are ordered each year for an oncologic population that continues to expand and increase in age. The importance of these studies in dictating further care for oncologic patients underscores the necessity of differentiating benign from malignant [...] Read more.
An increasing amount of molecular imaging studies are ordered each year for an oncologic population that continues to expand and increase in age. The importance of these studies in dictating further care for oncologic patients underscores the necessity of differentiating benign from malignant findings, particularly for a population in whom incidental findings are common. The aim of this review is to provide pictorial examples of benign musculoskeletal pathologies which may be found on molecular imaging and which may be mistaken for malignant processes. Imaging examples are provided in the form of radiographs, bone scintigraphy, computed tomography, and fluorine-18 fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography (FDG PET/CT) scans. Special attention is paid to specific features that help narrow the differential diagnosis and distinguish benign from malignant processes, with the goal of avoiding unnecessary invasive procedures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Reviews for Tomography 2023)
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10 pages, 1270 KiB  
Article
Intravoxel Incoherent Motion Diffusion-Weighted MRI, Fat Quantification, and Electromyography: Correlation in Polymyositis and Dermatomyositis
by Hyunjung Kim, Sang Yeol Yong, Chuluunbaatar Otgonbaatar and Seoung Wan Nam
Tomography 2024, 10(3), 368-377; https://doi.org/10.3390/tomography10030029 - 1 Mar 2024
Viewed by 776
Abstract
(1) Background: The intravoxel incoherent motion (IVIM) model can provide information about both molecular diffusion and blood flow for the evaluation of skeletal muscle inflammation. MRI-based fat quantification is advantageous for assessing fat infiltration in skeletal muscle. (2) Purpose: We aimed to quantitatively [...] Read more.
(1) Background: The intravoxel incoherent motion (IVIM) model can provide information about both molecular diffusion and blood flow for the evaluation of skeletal muscle inflammation. MRI-based fat quantification is advantageous for assessing fat infiltration in skeletal muscle. (2) Purpose: We aimed to quantitatively measure various parameters associated with IVIM diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) and fat quantification in the muscles of patients with polymyositis and dermatomyositis using magnetic resonance imaging and to investigate the relationship between these parameters and electromyography (EMG) findings. (3) Material and methods: Data were retrospectively evaluated for 12 patients with polymyositis and dermatomyositis who underwent thigh MRI, including IVIM-DWI and fat quantification. The IVIM-derived parameters included the pure diffusion coefficient (D), pseudodiffusion coefficient (D*), and perfusion fraction (f). Fat fraction values were assessed using the six-point Dixon technique. Needle EMG was performed within 9 days of the MRI. (4) Results: The f values (19.02 ± 4.87%) in muscles with pathological spontaneous activity on EMG were significantly higher than those (14.60 ± 5.31) in muscles without pathological spontaneous activity (p < 0.027). There were no significant differences in D, D*, ADC, or fat fraction between muscles with and without pathologic spontaneous activity. Significant negative correlations were observed between fat fraction and amplitude (r = −0.402, p < 0.015) and between fat fraction and duration (r = −0.360, p < 0.031). (5) Conclusion: The current study demonstrates that IVIM-DWI and fat quantification using 3.0 T MRI may aid in predicting EMG findings in patients with polymyositis and dermatomyositis and promote the pathophysiological study of idiopathic inflammatory myopathies. Full article
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8 pages, 3032 KiB  
Communication
Detection of Hyperdense Arterial Sign in Acute Ischemic Stroke with Dual-Energy Computed Tomography: Optimal Combination with X-ray Energy and Slice Thickness
by Kyo Noguchi, Aki Kido, Norihito Naruto, Mariko Doai, Toshihide Itoh, Daina Kashiwazaki, Naoki Akioka and Satoshi Kuroda
Tomography 2024, 10(3), 360-367; https://doi.org/10.3390/tomography10030028 - 28 Feb 2024
Viewed by 750
Abstract
Background: The hyperdense artery sign (HAS) in acute ischemic stroke (AIS) is considered an important marker of a thrombus on computed tomography (CT). An advantage of scanning with dual-energy CT (DECT) is its ability to reconstruct CT images with various energies using the [...] Read more.
Background: The hyperdense artery sign (HAS) in acute ischemic stroke (AIS) is considered an important marker of a thrombus on computed tomography (CT). An advantage of scanning with dual-energy CT (DECT) is its ability to reconstruct CT images with various energies using the virtual monochromatic imaging (VMI) technique. The aim of this study was to investigate the optimal combination of X-ray energy and slice thickness to detect HASs on DECT. Methods: A total of 32 patients with confirmed occlusion of the horizontal (M1) portion of the middle cerebral artery were included in this study. Modified contrast-to-noise ratio (modified CNR) analysis was used as a method for evaluating HASs in AIS. A region of interest (ROI) was set as an HAS, the M1 portion, and an approximately 2 cm diameter ROI was set as the background including the HAS and measured. CT images with X-ray energies from 40 to 190 keV, with increments of 10 keV, were reconstructed based on VMI with 1, 2, and 3 mm slice thicknesses. Results: The top five combinations of X-ray energy and slice thickness in descending order of the mean HAS-modified CNR were as follows: Rank 1, 60 keV-1 mm; Rank 2, 70 keV-1 mm; Rank 3, 60 keV-2 mm; Rank 4, 80 keV-2 mm; Rank 5, 60 keV-3 mm. Conclusions: Our study showed that the optimal combination to detect an HAS was 60 keV and a 1 mm slice thickness on DECT. Full article
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11 pages, 949 KiB  
Article
The Relationship between Liver Volume, Clinicopathological Characteristics and Survival in Patients Undergoing Resection with Curative Intent for Non-Metastatic Colonic Cancer
by Josh McGovern, Charles Mackay, Rhiannon Freireich, Allan M. Golder, Ross D. Dolan, Paul G. Horgan, David Holroyd, Nigel B. Jamieson and Donald C. McMillan
Tomography 2024, 10(3), 349-359; https://doi.org/10.3390/tomography10030027 - 28 Feb 2024
Viewed by 704
Abstract
Introduction: The prognostic value of CT-derived liver volume in terms of cancer outcomes is not clear. The aim of the present study was to examine the relationship between liver area on a single axial CT-slice and the total liver volume in patients with [...] Read more.
Introduction: The prognostic value of CT-derived liver volume in terms of cancer outcomes is not clear. The aim of the present study was to examine the relationship between liver area on a single axial CT-slice and the total liver volume in patients with colonic cancer. Furthermore, we examine the relationship between liver volume, determined using this novel method, clinicopathological variables and survival. Methods: Consecutive patients who underwent potentially curative surgery for colonic cancer were identified from a prospectively maintained database. Maximal liver area on axial CT-slice (cm2) and total volume (cm3), were obtained by the manual segmentation of pre-operative CT-images in a PACS viewer. The maximal liver area was normalized for body height2 to create the liver index (LI) and values, categorized into tertiles. The primary outcome of interest was overall survival (OS). Relationships between LI and clinico-pathological variables were examined using chi-square analysis and binary logistic regression. The relationship between LI and OS was examined using cox proportional hazard regression. Results: A total of 359 patients were included. A total of 51% (n = 182) of patients were male and 73% (n = 261) were aged 65 years or older. 81% (n = 305) of patients were alive 3-years post-operatively. The median maximal liver area on the axial CT slice was 178.7 (163.7–198.4) cm2. The median total liver volume was 1509.13 (857.8–3337.1) cm3. Maximal liver area strongly correlated with total liver volume (R2 = 0.749). The median LI was 66.8 (62.0–71.6) cm2/m2. On multivariate analysis, age (p < 0.001), sex (p < 0.05), BMI (p < 0.001) and T2DM (p < 0.05) remained significantly associated with LI. On univariate analysis, neither LI (continuous) or LI (tertiles) were significantly associated with OS (p = 0.582 and p = 0.290, respectively). Conclusions: The simple, reliable method proposed in this study for quantifying liver volume using CT-imaging was found to have an excellent correlation between observers and provided results consistent with the contemporary literature. This method may facilitate the further examination of liver volume in future cancer studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Imaging in Cancer Diagnosis)
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18 pages, 7444 KiB  
Article
Myocardial Strain for the Differentiation of Myocardial Involvement in the Post-Acute Sequelae of COVID-19—A Multiparametric Cardiac MRI Study
by El-Sayed H. Ibrahim, Jason Rubenstein, Antonio Sosa, Jadranka Stojanovska, Amy Pan, Paula North, Hallgeir Rui and Ivor Benjamin
Tomography 2024, 10(3), 331-348; https://doi.org/10.3390/tomography10030026 - 27 Feb 2024
Viewed by 597
Abstract
Myocardial involvement was shown to be associated with an unfavorable prognosis in patients with COVID-19, which could lead to fatal outcomes as in myocardial injury-induced arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death. We hypothesized that magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) myocardial strain parameters are sensitive markers [...] Read more.
Myocardial involvement was shown to be associated with an unfavorable prognosis in patients with COVID-19, which could lead to fatal outcomes as in myocardial injury-induced arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death. We hypothesized that magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) myocardial strain parameters are sensitive markers for identifying subclinical cardiac dysfunction associated with myocardial involvement in the post-acute sequelae of COVID-19 (PASC). This study evaluated 115 subjects, including 65 consecutive COVID-19 patients, using MRI for the assessment of either post-COVID-19 myocarditis or other cardiomyopathies. Subjects were categorized, based on the results of the MRI exams, as having either ‘suspected’ or ‘excluded’ myocarditis. A control group of 50 matched individuals was studied. Along with parameters of global cardiac function, the MRI images were analyzed for measurements of the myocardial T1, T2, extracellular volume (ECV), strain, and strain rate. Based on the MRI late gadolinium enhancement and T1/T2/ECV mappings, myocarditis was suspected in 7 out of 22 patients referred due to concern of myocarditis and in 9 out of 43 patients referred due to concern of cardiomyopathies. The myocardial global longitudinal, circumferential, and radial strains and strain rates in the suspected myocarditis group were significantly smaller than those in the excluded myocarditis group, which in turn were significantly smaller than those in the control group. The results showed significant correlations between the strain, strain rate, and global cardiac function parameters. In conclusion, this study emphasizes the value of multiparametric MRI for differentiating patients with myocardial involvement in the PASC based on changes in the myocardial contractility pattern and tissue structure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cardiovascular Imaging)
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11 pages, 1293 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of Radiation Exposure and Influential Factors in Cone-Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) of the Head and Abdomen during Interventional Procedures
by Mingming Li, Weiwei Qu, Dong Zhang, Binyan Zhong, Zhi Li, Zhengyu Jiang, Guanyin Ni and Caifang Ni
Tomography 2024, 10(3), 320-330; https://doi.org/10.3390/tomography10030025 - 26 Feb 2024
Viewed by 864
Abstract
Cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) is a widely used imaging technique in interventional radiology. Although CBCT offers great advantages in terms of improving comprehension of complex angioarchitectures and guiding therapeutic decisions, its additional degree of radiation exposure has also aroused considerable concern. In this [...] Read more.
Cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) is a widely used imaging technique in interventional radiology. Although CBCT offers great advantages in terms of improving comprehension of complex angioarchitectures and guiding therapeutic decisions, its additional degree of radiation exposure has also aroused considerable concern. In this study, we aimed to assess radiation exposure and its influential factors in patients undergoing CBCT scans of the head and abdomen during interventional procedures. A total of 752 patients were included in this retrospective study. Dose area product (DAP) and reference air kerma (RAK) were used as measures of patient dose. The results showed that the median values of DAP were 53.8 (50.5–64.4) Gy⋅cm2 for head CBCT and 47.4 (39.6–54.3) Gy⋅cm2 for that of the abdomen. Male gender and body mass index (BMI) were characterized by increased DAP and RAK values in both head and abdominal CBCT scans. Larger FOV size was associated with a higher DAP but a lower RAK value, especially in head CBCT scans. Exposure parameters under automatic exposure control (AEC) also varied according to patient BMI and gender. In conclusion, the patients received slightly higher radiation doses from head CBCT scans than from those applied to the abdomen. BMI, gender, and FOV size were the key factors that influenced the radiation dose administered to the patients during CBCT scans. Our results may help to define and minimize patients’ exposure to radiation. Full article
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21 pages, 3776 KiB  
Review
Dual-Energy CT in Oncologic Imaging
by Giovanni Foti, Giorgio Ascenti, Andrea Agostini, Chiara Longo, Fabio Lombardo, Alessandro Inno, Alessandra Modena and Stefania Gori
Tomography 2024, 10(3), 299-319; https://doi.org/10.3390/tomography10030024 - 23 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1655
Abstract
Dual-energy CT (DECT) is an innovative technology that is increasingly widespread in clinical practice. DECT allows for tissue characterization beyond that of conventional CT as imaging is performed using different energy spectra that can help differentiate tissues based on their specific attenuation properties [...] Read more.
Dual-energy CT (DECT) is an innovative technology that is increasingly widespread in clinical practice. DECT allows for tissue characterization beyond that of conventional CT as imaging is performed using different energy spectra that can help differentiate tissues based on their specific attenuation properties at different X-ray energies. The most employed post-processing applications of DECT include virtual monoenergetic images (VMIs), iodine density maps, virtual non-contrast images (VNC), and virtual non-calcium (VNCa) for bone marrow edema (BME) detection. The diverse array of images obtained through DECT acquisitions offers numerous benefits, including enhanced lesion detection and characterization, precise determination of material composition, decreased iodine dose, and reduced artifacts. These versatile applications play an increasingly significant role in tumor assessment and oncologic imaging, encompassing the diagnosis of primary tumors, local and metastatic staging, post-therapy evaluation, and complication management. This article provides a comprehensive review of the principal applications and post-processing techniques of DECT, with a specific focus on its utility in managing oncologic patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cancer Imaging)
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