Peripheral pulmonary arteries: identification at multi-slice spiral CT with 3D reconstruction

Eur Radiol. 2003 Apr;13(4):815-22. doi: 10.1007/s00330-002-1734-2. Epub 2002 Nov 1.


Our objective was to analyze the peripheral pulmonary arteries using thin-collimation multi-slice spiral CT. Twenty consecutive patients underwent enhanced-spiral multi-slice CT using 1-mm collimation. Two observers analyzed the pulmonary arteries by consensus on a workstation. Each artery was identified on axial and 3D shaded-surface display reconstruction images. Each subsegmental artery was measured at a mediastinal window setting and compared with anatomical classifications. The location and branching of every subsegmental artery was recorded. The number of well-visualized sub-subsegmental arteries at a mediastinal window setting was compared with those visualized at a lung window setting. Of 800 subsegmental arteries, 769 (96%) were correctly visualized and 123 accessory subsegmental arteries were identified using the mediastinal window setting. One thousand ninety-two of 2019 sub-subsegmental arteries (54%) identified using the lung window setting were correctly visualized using the mediastinal window setting. Enhanced multi-slice spiral CT with thin collimation can be used to analyze precisely the subsegmental pulmonary arteries and may identify even more distal pulmonary arteries.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pulmonary Artery / diagnostic imaging*
  • Pulmonary Embolism / diagnostic imaging
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tomography, Spiral Computed*