Cinematic rendering – an alternative to volume rendering for 3D computed tomography imaging
OBJECTIVE To evaluate the feasibility of high-pitch spiral CT in imaging vascular anomalies (VAs) with affluent blood flow in the head and neck of infants and children. METHODS For patients with suspected VAs and affluent blood flow pre-detected by ultrasound, CT was performed with high-pitch mode, individualized low-dose scan protocol and three-dimensional (3D) reformation. A five-point scale was used for image quality evaluation. Diagnostic accuracy was calculated with clinical diagnosis with/without pathological results as the reference standard. Radiation exposure and single-phase scan time were recorded. Treatment strategies were formulated based on CT images and results and were monitored through follow-up results. RESULTS 20 lesions were identified in 15 patients (median age of 11 months). The mean score of image quality was 4.13 ± 0.74. 7 patients (7/15, 46.67%) were diagnosed with haemangiomas, 6 patients (6/15, 40%) were diagnosed with venous malformations and 2 patients (2/15, 13.33%) were diagnosed with arteriovenous malformations. The average effective radiation doses of a single phase and of the total procedure were 0.27 ± 0.08 and 0.86 ± 0.21 mSv. The average scanning time of a single phase was 0.46 ± 0.09 s. After treatment, 13 patients (13/15, 86.67%) achieved excellent results, and 2 patients (2/15, 13.33%) showed good results in follow-up visits. CONCLUSION High-pitch spiral CT with an individualized low-dose scan protocol and 3D reformation is an effective modality for imaging VAs with affluent blood flow in the head and neck of infants and children when vascular details are needed and ultrasound and MRI could not provide the complete information. ADVANCES IN KNOWLEDGE This study proposes an alternative modality for imaging VAs with affluent blood flow.