Special MDCT viewer offers better image grouping and sorting

March 15, 2004

A new viewer developed at Fujita Health University in Japan promises to streamline the process of reviewing images produced by multidetector CT scanners. Although specialized viewers for MDCT images exist, their operation tends to be complicated,

A new viewer developed at Fujita Health University in Japan promises to streamline the process of reviewing images produced by multidetector CT scanners.

Although specialized viewers for MDCT images exist, their operation tends to be complicated, distracting radiologists from concentrating fully on image interpretation, said Dr. Hidekazu Hattori of the radiology department at Fujita.

He helped develop a simple DICOM image viewer especially for MDCT images. A special control device enables users to handle MDCT images by scrolling, window adjustment, multiplanar reformatting, and synchronized comparison.

"Most viewers sort image series by series number, which is arbitrarily determined based on the order of image generation," Hattori said. "The series number is not the order of image acquisition, however, so the order is not appropriate for the diagnostic process."

Instead, Hattori's viewer can group series by acquisition time and sort by thickness, field-of-view, and reconstruction parameters. By grouping series by acquisition time and then sorting them by reconstruction parameters, radiologists can see how many scans were performed at a glance.

"In the diagnostic process, radiologists should know the outline of the study," he said.

Then they can view thick slice images to screen the study. When a lesion is found, thinner slice images can be reviewed.

Hattori said his viewer, which can also be used for MR, arranges series for smoother diagnostic interpretation.

The special control device offers several advanced features:
? The paging speed can be changed three steps forward or back with a specially designed switch.
? Page-by-page view displays run at a maximum speed of 60 images per second.
? A jog dial allows easy adjustment selection of the preset window values. Preset keys allow quick selection of preset window values.
? Any DICOM image created by other workstations, such as 3D volume rendering, can be viewed as well as the original CT images.