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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 145-150

Multipurpose computed tomography window for fusion display with functional imaging


1 Department of Radiology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
2 Department of Radiology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, USA

Correspondence Address:
Nghi C Nguyen
Department of Radiology, University of Pittsburgh, UPMC Presbyterian, 200 Lothrop Street (at Meyran Avenue), East Wing, 2nd Floor, Suite 200, Pittsburgh, PA 15213
USA
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DOI: 10.4103/wjnm.WJNM_34_17

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Current positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) and single photon emission CT (SPECT)/CT displays have major drawbacks, in that the CT only shows one tissue type at a time, which leads to a suboptimal fusion display. We developed a multipurpose CT level/window aiming at enhancing fusion display. A total of thirty CT examinations as part of fluorodeoxyglucose PET/CT examinations (15 were open source from the OsiriX website and 15 from our PET facility) and the open-source software MIPAV were used. During the development phase, a nuclear medicine physician manually modified the lookup table in a way that preserved the soft tissue contrast as well as enhanced the lung and bone tissue as much as possible. The developed multipurpose CT window was used in the subsequent validation phase and scored by two nuclear medicine physicians, who scored the image quality based on a 3-point score. Descriptive statistics was used to summarize the visual scores. The multipurpose CT window is a composite of several segments of linear CT levels/windows and contains an inverted linear level/window in the low range of Hounsfield unit designed to enhance lung/soft tissue contrast. In doing so, the multipurpose CT window preserves the high soft tissue contrast; the visualization of the lung parenchyma is satisfactory; the contrast for the bone tissue is improved but remains suboptimal when compared with conventional bone window. The multipurpose CT window was found to be “very useful” (median score 3; 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.0–3.0) for the purpose of fusion with functional imaging, with a prevalence asymmetry index 0.97 (95% CI 0.83–1.0). The multipurpose CT window was developed for image fusion and is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It shows favorable similarities to conventional CT windows with only minor artifacts and allows for enhanced visualization of fused PET/CT and SPECT/CT images. The multipurpose CT window is particularly valuable for case review/demonstrations on standard personal computers and handheld devices (smartphones, tablets).


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