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Free-Breathing Three-Dimensional Computed Tomography of the Lung Using Prospective Respiratory Gating: Charge-Coupled Device Camera and Laser Sensor Device in an Animal Experiment

Zaporozhan, Julia MD*; Ley, Sebastian MD*†; Unterhinninghofen, Roland M.Eng‡§; Saito, Yasuo M.Eng; Fabel-Schulte, Michael MD*; Keller, Susanne MD; Szabo, Gabor MD; Kauczor, Hans-Ulrich MD*

doi: 10.1097/01.rli.0000208926.98693.b6
Original Article

Purpose: The aim was to investigate the feasibility and image quality of prospective respiratory gating for 3-D computed tomography (CT) of the lung.

Material and Methods: Eight anesthetized pigs underwent prospectively gated multidetector computed tomography using 2 devices: a charge-coupled device (CCD) camera and a laser sensor. The output signal of both gating devices was connected to the scanner instead of ECG unit. Inspiratory and expiratory images were obtained during “free-breathing” and analyzed in MPR mode for sharpness of bronchi, diaphragm and lung using a 4-point-score (1, excellent to 4, severe artifacts).

Results: The CCD camera worked in all animals. Using the laser sensor, only 50% of expiratory scans could be acquired. All acquired images showed excellent sharpness (CCD camera vs. laser sensor) for trachea (1.1 ± 0.3 vs. 1.3 ± 0.5), bronchi (1.4 ± 0.7 vs. 1.8 ± 0.6), lung fissures (1.0 vs. 1.1 ± 0.3), and lung parenchyma (1.0 ± 0.2 vs. 1.4 ± 0.6), and minor to major artifacts for diaphragm (1.5 ± 0.8 vs. 2.0 ± 1.0, P < 0.05) and pericardial lung structures (1.9 ± 0.7 vs. 2.3 ± 0.5).

Conclusion: High image quality for inspiratory and expiratory scans was achieved by free-breathing 3-D CT of the lung using noncontact prospective respiratory gating.

From the *Department of Radiology (E010), German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg, Germany; the Departments of †Pediatric Radiology and ‡Cardiac Surgery, Ruprecht-Karls-University, Heidelberg, Germany; the §Department of Computer Science, University of Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe, Germany; and the ¶CT Systems Development Department, CT Systems Division, Toshiba Medical Systems Corporation, Tochigi, Japan.

Received October 14, 2005, and accepted for publication, after revision, December 26, 2005.

Reprints: Julia Zaporozhan, MD, Department of Radiology E010, German Cancer Research Center, Im Neuenheimer Feld 280, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany. E-mail:

© 2006 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.