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Update on Multidetector Computed Tomography Imaging of the Airways

Lee, Karen S. MD; Boiselle, Phillip M. MD

Journal of Thoracic Imaging: May 2010 - Volume 25 - Issue 2 - p 112-124
doi: 10.1097/RTI.0b013e3181d7e721

Recent advances in multidetector computed tomography (MDCT) technology have transformed the imaging evaluation of the trachea and bronchi. Multiplanar 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional volume reconstruction techniques, including external rendering and virtual bronchoscopy, can be generated in mere minutes, thereby complementing conventional axial CT imaging in the depiction of various central airway disease processes including airway stenoses, central airway neoplasms, and congenital airway disorders. Paired inspiratory and dynamic expiratory MDCT imaging, along with newer cine CT imaging methods, have enhanced the assessment of tracheobronchomalacia in both adults and the pediatric population. In addition, MDCT imaging plays an essential complementary role to conventional bronchoscopy, facilitating planning and guidance of bronchoscopic interventions, and providing a noninvasive method for postprocedural surveillance.

Department of Radiology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA

Reprints: Karen S. Lee, MD, Department of Radiology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, 330 Brookline Avenue, Boston, MA 02215 (e-mail:

The authors have no financial disclosures.

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.