ABSTRACT: The 3D imaging of the middle ear facilitates better understanding of the patient's anatomy. Cross-sectional slices, however, often allow a more accurate evaluation of anatomical structures, as some detail may be lost through post-processing. In order to demonstrate the advantages of combining both approaches, we performed computed tomography (CT) imaging in two normal and 15 different pathological cases, and the 3D models were correlated to the cross-sectional CT slices. Reconstructed CT datasets were acquired by multi-slice CT. Post-processing was performed using the in-house software "3D Slicer", applying thresholding and manual segmentation. 3D models of the individual anatomical structures were generated and displayed in different colours. The display of relevant anatomical and pathological structures was evaluated in the greyscale 2D slices, 3D images, and the 2D slices showing the segmented 2D anatomy in different colours for each structure. Correlating 2D slices to the 3D models and virtual endoscopy helps to combine the advantages of each method. As generating 3D models can be extremely time-consuming, this approach can be a clinically applicable way of gaining a 3D understanding of the patient's anatomy by using models as a reference. Furthermore, it can help radiologists and otolaryngologists evaluating the 2D slices by adding the correct 3D information that would otherwise have to be mentally integrated. The method can be applied to radiological diagnosis, surgical planning, and especially, to teaching.
Neuroradiology 10/2002; 44(9):783-90. · 2.82 Impact Factor