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Multidetector High-resolution Computed Tomography of the Lungs: Protocols and Applications

Sundaram, Baskaran MD; Chughtai, Aamer R. MD; Kazerooni, Ella A. MD, MS

Journal of Thoracic Imaging: May 2010 - Volume 25 - Issue 2 - p 125-141
doi: 10.1097/RTI.0b013e3181d9ca37

Advances in computed tomography (CT) scanner technology have made isotropic volumetric, multiplanar high-resolution lung imaging possible in a single breath-hold, a significant advance over the incremental high-resolution CT (HRCT) technique in which noncontiguous images sampled the lung, but lacked anatomic continuity. HRCT of the lungs is an established imaging technique for the diagnosis and management of interstitial lung disease, emphysema, and small airway disease, providing a noninvasive detailed evaluation of the lung parenchyma, and providing information about the lungs as a whole and focally. In addition to having a high degree of specificity for diagnosing conditions such as emphysema, sarcoidosis, usual interstitial pneumonitis, Langerhans cell histiocytosis, and small airway disease, there is a growing body of medical evidence to support the use of HRCT findings or diagnosis to predict patient prognosis. In this article, we review the technique, advantages, and clinical applications of the current HRCT technique.

Department of Radiology, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, MI

Reprints: Baskaran Sundaram, MD, Department of Radiology, University of Michigan Health System, Cardiovascular Center ♯5481, 1500 East Medical Center Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-5868 (e-mail:

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.