Multiplanar CT reformats find value in ER

July 1, 2007

Studies continue to validate the usefulness of multiplanar imaging in the emergency setting. Researchers have found that the use of coronal and sagittal reformations reduces interpretation time, increases diagnostic confidence, and improves workflow.

Studies continue to validate the usefulness of multiplanar imaging in the emergency setting. Researchers have found that the use of coronal and sagittal reformations reduces interpretation time, increases diagnostic confidence, and improves workflow.

Dr. Robert A. Novelline, director of emergency radiology at Massachusetts General Hospital, and colleagues routinely use coronal reformations in polytraumatized patients for head CT scans along with both coronal and sagittal reformations of face, cervical spine, chest, abdomen, pelvis, and extremity CT scans. Novelline spoke at the 2007 European Congress of Radiology in March.

"Multiplanar reformations of the chest and abdomen have eliminated the need for thoracolumbar spine clearance films after CT and have been useful in providing better display of sternal and pelvic fractures, as well as soft-tissue injuries of the parenchymal organs, diaphragm, bowel, mesentery, and urinary bladder," he said.

CONFIDENCE BOOSTER

Dr. Stefan Zangos from Frankfurt and colleagues from the Medical University of South Carolina found that the addition of coronal reconstructions to the axial images traditionally displayed with 64-slice CT improved the diagnostic confidence of inexperienced readers (Acad Radiol 2007;14:19-27).

While the use of reformatted images in the emergency room is increasing, it still has a ways to go, according to results from an online survey of imaging trends in U.S. emergency departments. Just over half of the respondents reported using reformatted images instead of conventional radiographs for assessment of cervical and thoracolumbar spine trauma. Only 11%, however, routinely use coronal and sagittal reconstructions of the abdomen.

Dr. John Thomas, a radiologist in the abdominal imaging department of Duke University, presented the study at the American Roentgen Ray Society meeting.