Background: 3D CT angiography (3D-CTA) is a noninvasive imaging modality for cerebral aneurysms. 3D-CTA is helpful in the evaluation of the configuration of the aneurysm, the surrounding vessels, and the inside of the aneurysm dome. Clinical application of this technique in complicated large cerebral aneurysms showed that with 3D-CT endoscopic imaging, anatomical details of cerebral aneurysms such as the orifice of the aneurysm, intraluminal thrombus, and calcification of the wall could be clearly demonstrated. Using the 3D-imaging method with helical CT, virtual views of various surgical approaches can be compared preoperatively. This information was found to be very useful for determining difficult aneurysms for coil embolization or direct surgery including complicated and broad-based aneurysms.
Methods: Helical CT scanners (TOSHIBA X-vigor) are used for intracranial vascular lesions. At present, nearly stereoscopic images at a pixel size of 0.35 x 0.35 x 0.4 mm are obtained by reconstruction under the following conditions: slice thickness, 0.8 mm; couch top speed, 1.0 mm/ sec.; 130 kV; 220 mA; visual field, 18 cm in diameter (11 cm after extension); pitch, 0.4 mm; and opposed beam interpolation. RESULTS AND CLINICAL APPLICATION: By virtual vascular 3D-CT endoscopy, the lumen of the cerebral aneurysm is displayed by the surface rendering method. Its clinical applications include 1) Demonstration of three-dimensional aneurysm morphology, including the dome and the neck region; 2) Preoperative simulation; 3) Confirmation of parent blood vessels flowing into and out of aneurysms and visualization of aneurysmal lumen calcification. Coronal and sagittal sections can demonstrate whether the branches arise from the aneurysm or aneurysmal neck. The limitation of 3D-CTA is in delineating perforating arteries that are less than 1.2 mm in diameter. The problem with virtual vascular 3D-CT endoscopic images is that endoscopic findings in the vascular wall are incomplete because of the partial volume effect and pulsation of the aneurysm and vascular wall.
Conclusions: Helical Scanning-CT (HES-CT) is an excellent noninvasive diagnostic modality for cerebral aneurysm detection. 3D-CT angiography has distinct advantages in evaluating aneurysms and selecting the most appropriate therapeutic modality.