Real-Time Four-dimensional Imaging of the Heart with Multi–Detector Row CT

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An interactive four-dimensional (4D) visualizing system for the heart was developed by the authors. The system realizes high-resolution three-dimensional (3D) imaging with temporal resolution in a beating heart by using eight or more data sets reconstructed from multi–detector row computed tomography (MDCT) with a retrospective electrocardiograph-gated reconstruction algorithm. The motion of heart walls, papillary muscles, septa, and valves can now be observed in 4D multiplanar reformations (MPRs), as with sonography, while coronary arteries, coronary sinuses, and cardiac veins can be analyzed during the optimal phase in 4D volume-rendering images, as with angiography. All parameters such as window width, window level, field of view, panning, tilt, thresholds, opacity, color, and segmentation function are completely interactive in 4D imaging. Two longitudinal views and one latitudinal view of a heart can be simultaneously visualized in the three relative 4D MPR views. These newly developed capabilities in viewing both 3D volume and temporal resolution data, functional data, and even multiphase data with registration add considerable diagnostic potential. The advent of this real-time 4D visualizing system has enhanced the capabilities of MDCT.

© RSNA, 2003


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Article History

Published in print: Jan 2003