Multimodal virtual bronchoscopy using PET/CT images.Comput Aided Surg. 2008 Mar; 13(2):106-13.CA
To demonstrate the possibilities, advantages and limitations of virtual bronchoscopy using data sets from positron emission tomography (PET) and computed tomography (CT).
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Eight consecutive patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) underwent PET/CT. PET was performed with a glucose analog, 2-[fluorine-18]-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose (18F-FDG), using a state-of-the-art full-ring Pico-3D PET scanner. CT was performed with a venous-dominant contrast-enhanced phase using a 16-slice CT scanner. The tracheobronchial system was segmented using the CT data set with an interactive threshold interval volume-growing segmentation algorithm. The primary tumors and lymph node metastases were segmented for virtual CT-bronchoscopy using the CT data set and for virtual hybrid bronchoscopy using the PET/CT data set. The structures of interest were visualized with a color-coded shaded-surface rendering method.
The use of CT and virtual CT-bronchoscopy primarily facilitates visualization of the anatomical details of the tracheobronchial system and detection of anatomical/morphologic structural changes caused by disease. PET/CT and virtual hybrid bronchoscopy, or virtual PET/CT-bronchoscopy, give superior results to virtual CT-bronchoscopy because the hybrid bronchoscopy uses both the CT information and the molecular/metabolic information about the disease obtained from PET.
PET/CT imaging has proven to be a highly valuable oncological diagnostic modality. Virtual hybrid bronchoscopy can be performed using a low-dose CT scan or diagnostic CT. However, it is expected to improve diagnostic accuracy in identification and characterization of malignancies, verification of infections, and differentiation of viable tumor tissue from atelectases and scar tissue, as well as assessment of tumor staging and therapeutic response, and detection of early stage recurrences that are not detectable or are liable to be misjudged using virtual CT-bronchoscopy. It could also be useful as a screening examination method for patients with suspected endobronchial malignancy. Virtual hybrid bronchoscopy with a transparent color-coded shaded-surface rendering model offers a useful alternative to fiberoptic bronchoscopy, and is particularly promising for patients for whom fiberoptic bronchoscopy is not feasible, contraindicated or refused.