Thoracic Spine CT Hidden Treasures: Lung Assessment and Extraspinal Findings in Patients with Vertebral Fractures Studied with Full FOV during Breath Hold: Technical Note

Antonio Manca, Gabriele Chiara, Saverio Bellizzi, Piergiorgio Valle, Silvia Nicoli, Delia Campanella, Daniele Regge
Tomography: a Journal for Imaging Research 2022 April 2, 8 (2): 999-1004
Thoracic spine CTs are usually performed during free breathing and with a narrow field of view; this common practice systematically excludes the assessment of lungs and other extraspinal structures, even if these have been irradiated during the examination. At our institution we perform thoracic spine CT during breath hold with additional full FOV reconstructions; this allows us to also evaluate lungs and extraspinal pathologies in the same examination with no added costs or further radiation exposure. If this simple and costless technical change is routinely applied to thoracic spine CT many concomitant extraspinal pathologies can be ruled out, from neoplasms to pneumonia; the suggested modification also allows an early diagnosis and avoids recalling and re-irradiating the patient in case these findings are partially included in the study. This practice can be further useful during the current pandemic in order to screen any lung opacities suspicious for COVID-19.

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