Table of Contents
ISRN Orthopedics
Volume 2012, Article ID 639189, 6 pages
Research Article

Three-Dimensional Volume-Rendered Series Complements 2D Orthogonal Multidetector Computed Tomography in the Evaluation of Abnormal Spinal Curvature in Patients at a Major Cancer Center: A Retrospective Review

Section of Neuroradiology, Department of Diagnostic Radiology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Boulevard, Unit 370, Houston, TX 77030, USA

Received 16 August 2012; Accepted 26 September 2012

Academic Editors: D. H. Clements and C.-H. Lee

Copyright © 2012 J. Matthew Debnam et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Abnormal spinal curvature is routinely assessed with plain radiographs, MDCT, and MRI. MDCT can provide two-dimensional (2-D) orthogonal as well as reconstructed three-dimensional volume-rendered (3-D VR) images of the spine, including the translucent display: a computer-generated image set that enables the visualization of surgical instrumentation through bony structures. We hypothesized that the 3-D VR series provides additional information beyond that of 2-D orthogonal MDCT in the evaluation of abnormal spinal curvature in patients evaluated at a major cancer center. Methods. The 3-D VR series, including the translucent display, was compared to 2-D orthogonal MDCT studies in patients with an abnormal spinal curvature greater than 25 degrees and scored as being not helpful (0) or helpful (1) in 3 categories: spinal curvature; bony definition; additional findings (mass lesions, fractures, and instrumentation). Results. In 38 of 48 (79.2%) patients assessed, the 3-D VR series were scored as helpful in 63 of 144 (43.8%) total possible categories (32 spinal curvature; 14 bony definition; 17 additional findings). Conclusion. Three-dimensional MDCT images, including the translucent display, are complementary to multiplanar 2-D orthogonal MCDT in the evaluation of abnormal spinal curvature in patients treated at a major cancer center.