Diagnostic potential of virtual bronchoscopy: advantages in comparison with axial CT slices, MPR and mIP?

Eur Radiol. 2000;10(6):981-8. doi: 10.1007/s003300051049.


The aim of this study was to evaluate the diagnostic potential of virtual endoscopy (VE) and to compare it with axial CT slices, multiplanar reconstructions (MPR), minimal intensity projections (mIP), and bronchoscopy in patients diagnosed with bronchogenic carcinoma. Thirty patients underwent a spiral CT. Axial CT images were transferred to an Onyx workstation (Silicon Graphics, Sun Microsystems, Mountain View, Calif.) for performing virtual endoscopy. Accuracy for this procedure was tested by three radiologists on a monitor in comparison with axial CT slices, MPR, mIP, and bronchoscopy concerning the localization and degree of stenoses. Endoluminal tumors were identified by virtual bronchoscopy with no statistically significant difference of localization or grading of stenosis in comparison with bronchoscopy, axial CT slices, MPR and mIP. Axial CT slices, MPR, and mIP showed poorer results with over- or underestimation of stenoses compared with VE and bronchoscopy. Passing of stenoses was only possible with VE in 5 patients. Virtual endoscopy is a non-invasive method for identification of endoluminal tumors and is comparable to real bronchoscopy.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Bronchoscopy*
  • Carcinoma, Bronchogenic / diagnosis*
  • Carcinoma, Bronchogenic / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted*
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Male
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*
  • User-Computer Interface*