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Three-dimensional fracture visualisation of multidetector CT of the skull base in trauma patients: comparison of three reconstruction algorithms.

European Radiology 2009 October
The purpose of this study was to retrospectively assess the detection rate of skull-base fractures for three different three-dimensional (3D) reconstruction methods of cranial CT examinations in trauma patients. A total of 130 cranial CT examinations of patients with previous head trauma were subjected to 3D reconstruction of the skull base, using solid (SVR) and transparent (TVR) volume-rendering technique and maximum intensity projection (MIP). Three radiologists independently evaluated all reconstructions as well as standard high-resolution multiplanar reformations (HR-MPRs). Mean fracture detection rates for all readers reading rotating reconstructions were 39, 36, 61 and 64% for SVR, TVR, MIP and HR-MPR respectively. Although not significantly different from HR-MPR with respect to sensitivity (P = 0.9), MIP visualised 18% of fractures that were not reported in HR-MPR. Because of the relatively low detection rate using HR-MPRs alone, we recommend reading MIP reconstructions in addition to the obligatory HR-MPRs to improve fracture detection.

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