The use of 3D contrast-enhanced CT reconstructions to project images of vascular rings and coarctation of the aorta

Thomas G. Di Sessa, Peter Di Sessa, Bill Gregory, Mark Vranicar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Background: Aortic arch and pulmonary artery anomalies make up a group of vascular structures that have complex three-dimensional (3D) shapes. Tortuosity as well as hypoplasia or atresia of segments of the aortic arch or pulmonary artery makes the conventional two-dimensional (2D) imaging difficult. Methods: Nine patients with native coarctation or recoarctation and 4 patients with a vascular ring had a CT scan as a part of their clinical evaluation. There were 7 males. The mean age was 11.7 years. (range 19 days to 29 years) The mean weight was 22.7 kg (range 3.3-139.0 kg). The dicom data from contrast CT scans were converted by the Amira software package into a 3D image. The areas of interest were selected. The images were then projected in 3D on a standard video monitor and could be rotated 360° in any dimension. Results: Adequate CT scans and 3D reconstructions were obtained in 12 of 13 patients. There were 85-1,044 slices obtained in the adequate studies. We could not reconstruct a 3D image from a patient's CT scan that had only 22 slices. The anatomy defined by 3D was compared to 2D CT imaging and confirmed by cardiac catheterization or direct visualization in the operating room in the 12 patients with adequate 3D reconstructions. In 5 of 12 patients, 3D reconstructions provided valuable spatial information not observed in the conventional 2D scans. Conclusion: We believe that 3D reconstruction of contrast-enhanced CT scans of these complex structures provides additional valuable information that is helpful in the decision-making process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)76-81
Number of pages6
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • CT scans
  • Coarctation
  • Vascular rings

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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