Clinical evaluation of bone-subtraction CT angiography (BSCTA) in head and neck imaging

Eur Radiol. 2006 Apr;16(4):889-97. doi: 10.1007/s0330-005-0032-1. Epub 2005 Nov 3.


Fifty-one patients were examined with bone subtraction CT angiography (BSCTA). Data were acquired on 4-and 64-slice spiral CT systems. The post-processing method is based on fully automatic registration of non-enhanced and contrast-enhanced CT data and subsequent selective bone removal. Vascular structures and brain tissue are retained with the original CTA noise level. Image quality and delineation of the pathologic process were assessed and artifacts introduced by the bone removal process recorded. The bone subtraction algorithm worked successfully in all examinations. The processing time was 6 min on average. Image quality was rated excellent in 20 (39%), good in 26 (51%) and acceptable in 5 (10%) patients. Ophthalmic arteries were visible in 12 (24%) patients bilaterally, in 13 (25%) patients unilaterally and in 26 (51%) patients at least at the origin. BSCTA improved visualization of the infraclinoid ICA and the vertebral arteries. The depiction of stenosis of the extracranial ICA and supraclinoid aneurysms was not significantly improved. In patients with suspicion of sinus thrombosis, BSCTA and conventional CTA yielded similar results. To conclude, BSCTA improves the visualization of vessels with close contact to bone and can improve the diagnostic accuracy and therapy planning of infraclinoid aneurysms.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Angiography, Digital Subtraction
  • Cerebral Angiography / methods*
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / diagnostic imaging*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Skull / diagnostic imaging
  • Tomography, Spiral Computed*