[Virtual endoscopic navigation and body transparency based on computed tomography. A step towards in vivo imaging].
ABSTRACT Progress in HR-CTdata processing has led to lower X-ray exposure and to better diagnostic performance. We describe 19 adult patients (among 5000) examined by HR CT with 64 detectors, acquisition and exposure protocols in mSv, spiral, 0.6-mm slices, 5To PACS. After the two usual processing steps (60 gray values, 5122 and 10242 matrices, dedicated workstations for coronaroscopy and virtual coloscopy, 2D multiplanar reformation, surfacic, 3D volumes with dissection and navigation), a third original data processing step on additional workstations was added. Variable matrix extrapolated images, flexible colored curves (different from anatomical conventions), lighting (sources) and transparencies (unavailable with traditional endoscopy) were used. The digital film is a 16-minute "journey "consisting of 19 endo-body navigations in 5 regions, from the head to the bronchi, from the heart to the coronary arteries, and from the digestive tract to the abdomen and pelvis. One possible application is post-operative verification of an aortic graft. The movie is illustrated here with ten plates. This new approach is cost-effective and beneficial for the patient, in terms of early diagnosis and therapeutic follow-up. Ethical issues are also examined.