Benefits of routine use of coronal and sagittal reformations in multi-slice CT examination of the abdomen and pelvis

Clin Radiol. 2007 Apr;62(4):340-7. doi: 10.1016/j.crad.2006.09.030.


Aim: To evaluate the usefulness of coronal and sagittal reformations from isotropic abdomino-pelvic computed tomography (CT) examinations.

Methods: Fifty consecutive abdomino-pelvic CT examinations were reconstructed into two sets of axial source images: 0.9 mm section width with 0.45 mm reconstruction interval (isotropic) and 4 mm section width with 3 mm reconstruction interval. The isotropic dataset was reformatted into coronal and sagittal stacks with 4 mm section widths. Three readers independently reviewed the three image sets with 4 mm section widths. The coronal and sagittal reformations were compared with the axial images, in the same sitting, for depiction of lesions in various abdominal organs.

Results: There was better visualization of lesions in the liver, kidneys, mesentery, lumbar spine, major abdominal vessels, urinary bladder, diaphragm and hips on the coronal reformations compared with source axial images (p<0.05). Sagittal reformations scored better than axial source images for showing lesions in the liver, thoracic spine, abdominal vessels, uterus, urinary bladder, diaphragm and hips (p<0.05). The coronal and sagittal series showed significant additional information in 23 and 17% of patients, respectively.

Conclusion: Radiologists should consider the routine review of at least one additional plane to the axial series in the interpretation of abdomino-pelvic CT studies.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydronephrosis / diagnostic imaging
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted / methods
  • Liver Cirrhosis, Alcoholic / diagnostic imaging
  • Male
  • Malignant Carcinoid Syndrome / diagnostic imaging
  • Middle Aged
  • Pelvis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Radiographic Image Enhancement / methods
  • Radiography, Abdominal / methods*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*