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Volume 8, June

Tomography, Volume 8, Issue 4 (August 2022) – 13 articles

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Article
Reduction in Acquisition Time and Improvement in Image Quality in T2-Weighted MR Imaging of Musculoskeletal Tumors of the Extremities Using a Novel Deep Learning-Based Reconstruction Technique in a Turbo Spin Echo (TSE) Sequence
Tomography 2022, 8(4), 1759-1769; https://doi.org/10.3390/tomography8040148 (registering DOI) - 06 Jul 2022
Abstract
Background: The aim of this study was to assess the technical feasibility and the impact on image quality and acquisition time of a deep learning-accelerated fat-saturated T2-weighted turbo spin echo sequence in musculoskeletal imaging of the extremities. Methods: Twenty-three patients who underwent MRI [...] Read more.
Background: The aim of this study was to assess the technical feasibility and the impact on image quality and acquisition time of a deep learning-accelerated fat-saturated T2-weighted turbo spin echo sequence in musculoskeletal imaging of the extremities. Methods: Twenty-three patients who underwent MRI of the extremities were prospectively included. Standard T2w turbo inversion recovery magnitude (TIRMStd) imaging was compared to a deep learning-accelerated T2w TSE (TSEDL) sequence. Image analysis of 23 patients with a mean age of 60 years (range 30–86) was performed regarding image quality, noise, sharpness, contrast, artifacts, lesion detectability and diagnostic confidence. Pathological findings were documented measuring the maximum diameter. Results: The analysis showed a significant improvement for the T2 TSEDL with regard to image quality, noise, contrast, sharpness, lesion detectability, and diagnostic confidence, as compared to T2 TIRMStd (each p < 0.001). There were no differences in the number of detected lesions. The time of acquisition (TA) could be reduced by 52–59%. Interrater agreement was almost perfect (κ = 0.886). Conclusion: Accelerated T2 TSEDL was technically feasible and superior to conventionally applied T2 TIRMStd. Concurrently, TA could be reduced by 52–59%. Therefore, deep learning-accelerated MR imaging is a promising and applicable method in musculoskeletal imaging. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Advances in Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI))
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Review
Non-Invasive Modalities in the Assessment of Vulnerable Coronary Atherosclerotic Plaques
Tomography 2022, 8(4), 1742-1758; https://doi.org/10.3390/tomography8040147 (registering DOI) - 06 Jul 2022
Abstract
Coronary atherosclerosis is a complex, multistep process that may lead to critical complications upon progression, revolving around plaque disruption through either rupture or erosion. Several high-risk features are associated with plaque vulnerability and may add incremental prognostic information. Although invasive imaging modalities such [...] Read more.
Coronary atherosclerosis is a complex, multistep process that may lead to critical complications upon progression, revolving around plaque disruption through either rupture or erosion. Several high-risk features are associated with plaque vulnerability and may add incremental prognostic information. Although invasive imaging modalities such as optical coherence tomography or intravascular ultrasound are considered to be the gold standard in the assessment of vulnerable coronary atherosclerotic plaques (VCAPs), contemporary evidence suggests a potential role for non-invasive methods in this context. Biomarkers associated with deleterious pathophysiologic pathways, including inflammation and extracellular matrix degradation, have been correlated with VCAP characteristics and adverse prognosis. However, coronary computed tomography (CT) angiography has been the most extensively investigated technique, significantly correlating with invasive method-derived VCAP features. The estimation of perivascular fat attenuation as well as radiomic-based approaches represent additional concepts that may add incremental information. Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has also been evaluated in clinical studies, with promising results through the various image sequences that have been tested. As far as nuclear cardiology is concerned, the implementation of positron emission tomography in the VCAP assessment currently faces several limitations with the myocardial uptake of the radiotracer in cases of fluorodeoxyglucose use, as well as with motion correction. Moreover, the search for the ideal radiotracer and the most adequate combination (CT or MRI) is still ongoing. With a look to the future, the possible combination of imaging and circulating inflammatory and extracellular matrix degradation biomarkers in diagnostic and prognostic algorithms may represent the essential next step for the assessment of high-risk individuals. Full article
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Article
Impact of Silicone Oil Removal on Macular Perfusion
Tomography 2022, 8(4), 1735-1741; https://doi.org/10.3390/tomography8040146 (registering DOI) - 06 Jul 2022
Viewed by 94
Abstract
(1) Background: Silicone oil (SO) can be used as an endotamponade during vitreoretinal surgery for retinal detachment. There is emerging evidence that SO filling of the vitreous cavity and its removal may impact macular perfusion. So far, studies have not focused on choroidal [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Silicone oil (SO) can be used as an endotamponade during vitreoretinal surgery for retinal detachment. There is emerging evidence that SO filling of the vitreous cavity and its removal may impact macular perfusion. So far, studies have not focused on choroidal sublayer perfusion, yet. (2) Methods: Optical coherence tomography angiography was applied in 19 patients with SO endotamponade before and four weeks after removal of SO. (3) Results: Perfusion of choriocapillaris increased significantly after SO removal, while perfusion of Haller’s and Sattler’s layer decreased significantly. (4) Conclusions: Removal of SO impacts choroidal perfusion and leads to a perfusion shift within choroidal sublayers. This study underlines that it is worth to conduct larger prospective studies that evaluate the choroidal perfusion and its functional implications in more detail. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Advances in Optical Coherence Tomography Angiography (OCTA))
Article
The Prevalence of Shoulder Disorders among Professional Bullfighters: A Cross-Sectional Ultrasonography Study
Tomography 2022, 8(4), 1726-1734; https://doi.org/10.3390/tomography8040145 - 04 Jul 2022
Viewed by 157
Abstract
We aimed to investigate clinical and ultrasound signs of shoulder overuse injuries in professional bullfighters; side-to-side differences (dominant vs. non-dominant); and to determine potential differences according to bullfighters’ categories. An observational cross-sectional study was conducted. Thirty professional and active bullfighters were assessed. A [...] Read more.
We aimed to investigate clinical and ultrasound signs of shoulder overuse injuries in professional bullfighters; side-to-side differences (dominant vs. non-dominant); and to determine potential differences according to bullfighters’ categories. An observational cross-sectional study was conducted. Thirty professional and active bullfighters were assessed. A bilateral ultrasound assessment of the subacromial bursa, long biceps head tendon (LHBT), and rotator cuff was performed to determine the presence of bursitis, subluxation, partial or total tendon rupture, tenosynovitis, or calcification. Supraspinatus tendon thickness was measured. Finally, a battery of clinical orthopedic tests (Yergason, Jobe, infraspinatus, Gerber, and bursa tests) were also performed. Most identified ultrasound findings were located in the dominant side, being the presence of bursitis (n = 9; 30%), LHBT tenosynovitis (n = 8; 26.7%), and subscapularis tendon calcification (n = 5; 16.7%) the most prevalent. No side-to-side or between-categories differences were found for supraspinatus tendon thickness (all, p > 0.05). The most frequent positive signs were the infraspinatus test (40.0%), Gerber lift-off test (33.3%), and bursitis, Jobe, and Yergason tests (all, 26.7%). Ultrasound signs were commonly found at LHBT, subacromial bursa, and rotator cuff in professional bullfighters without difference between categories and sides. No side-to-side or between-categories differences were found. Positive clinical test signs suggestive of bursitis, LHBT, and rotator cuff tendinopathy were frequently observed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Imaging Advances in Physiotherapy)
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Article
Predictive Model for the Diagnosis of Uterine Prolapse Based on Transperineal Ultrasound
Tomography 2022, 8(4), 1716-1725; https://doi.org/10.3390/tomography8040144 - 01 Jul 2022
Viewed by 133
Abstract
We want to describe a model that allows the use of transperineal ultrasound to define the probability of experiencing uterine prolapse (UP). This was a prospective observational study involving 107 patients with UP or cervical elongation (CE) without UP. The ultrasound study was [...] Read more.
We want to describe a model that allows the use of transperineal ultrasound to define the probability of experiencing uterine prolapse (UP). This was a prospective observational study involving 107 patients with UP or cervical elongation (CE) without UP. The ultrasound study was performed using transperineal ultrasound and evaluated the differences in the pubis–uterine fundus distance at rest and with the Valsalva maneuver. We generated different multivariate binary logistic regression models using nonautomated methods to predict UP, including the difference in the pubis–uterine fundus distance at rest and with the Valsalva maneuver. The parameters were added progressively according to their simplicity of use and their predictive capacity for identifying UP. We used two binary logistic regression models to predict UP. Model 1 was based on the difference in the pubis–uterine fundus distance at rest and with the Valsalva maneuver and the age of the patient [AUC: 0.967 (95% CI, 0.939–0.995; p < 0.0005)]. Model 2 used the difference in the pubis–uterine fundus distance at rest and with the Valsalva maneuver, age, avulsion and ballooning (AUC: 0.971 (95% CI, 0.945–0.997; p < 0.0005)). In conclusion, the model based on the difference in the pubis–uterine fundus distance at rest and with the Valsalva maneuver and the age of the patient could predict 96.7% of patients with UP. Full article
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Review
Contrast Enhanced Ultrasound Compared with MRI and CT in the Evaluation of Post-Renal Transplant Complications
Tomography 2022, 8(4), 1704-1715; https://doi.org/10.3390/tomography8040143 - 28 Jun 2022
Viewed by 226
Abstract
Renal transplantation (RT) is the treatment of choice for end-stage renal disease, significantly improving patients’ survival and quality of life. However, approximately 3–23% of patients encounter post-operative complications, and radiology plays a major role for their early detection and treatment or follow-up planning. [...] Read more.
Renal transplantation (RT) is the treatment of choice for end-stage renal disease, significantly improving patients’ survival and quality of life. However, approximately 3–23% of patients encounter post-operative complications, and radiology plays a major role for their early detection and treatment or follow-up planning. CT and MRI are excellent imaging modalities to evaluate renal transplant post-operative course; nevertheless, they are both associated with a high cost and low accessibility, as well as some contraindications, making them not feasible for all patients. In particular, gadolinium-based contrast can lead to the rare condition of nephrogenic systemic fibrosis, and iodine-based contrast can lead to contrast-induced nephropathy (CIN). CT also exposes the patients who may require multiple examinations to ionizing radiation. Therefore, considering the overall advantages and disadvantages, contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) is presently considered an effective first-line imaging modality for post-operative early and long-term follow-up in RT, reducing the need for biopsies and providing adequate guidance for drainage procedures. Hence, this paper aims to review the updated knowledge on CEUS compared with CT and MRI for the evaluation of RT renal transplant complications; advantages, limitations, and possible recommendations are provided. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Imaging in Non-Traumatic Emergencies)
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Editorial
Special Issue “New Advances in Breast Imaging”
Tomography 2022, 8(4), 1702-1703; https://doi.org/10.3390/tomography8040142 - 28 Jun 2022
Viewed by 248
Abstract
Breast cancer (BC) is the most common cancer in women of all ages, with more than 2 million diagnoses every year and a high economic and psychological impact on both the health care system and the population [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Advances in Breast Imaging)
Article
Changes of Atherosclerotic Plaque in Cerebral Artery Stenosis According to High-Resolution MR Imaging
Tomography 2022, 8(4), 1690-1701; https://doi.org/10.3390/tomography8040141 - 27 Jun 2022
Viewed by 254
Abstract
Atherosclerosis can affect multiple arteries, and result in stroke and heart disease. Clinical and conventional imaging is insufficient to predict the progression of atherosclerosis. This study investigates risk factors that rely on high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (HR-MRI). Patients with cerebral artery stenosis who [...] Read more.
Atherosclerosis can affect multiple arteries, and result in stroke and heart disease. Clinical and conventional imaging is insufficient to predict the progression of atherosclerosis. This study investigates risk factors that rely on high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (HR-MRI). Patients with cerebral artery stenosis who had undergone HR-MRI at least twice were included. The demographics, risk factors, and proportion of patients with cerebral artery stenosis were investigated. The association between atherosclerotic plaque characteristics and the progression or regression of artery stenosis was also analyzed. A total of 42 patients were analyzed, with a median follow-up of 16.88 ± 12.53 months. The mean age of all subjects was 63.1 ± 9.15 years, and 83.3% of them were male. The incidences of stenosis of the basilar, proximal internal carotid, and middle cerebral arteries were 21.4%, 61.9%, and 16.7%, respectively. Intraplaque hemorrhage (IPH) was detected in 20 (47.6%) patients. Multivariate analysis showed that age (odds ratio (OR), 0.87; p = 0.014), smoking (OR, 0.11; p = 0.033), and IPH regression (OR, 10.13; p = 0.027) were associated with stenosis regression. The progression of IPH (OR, 115.80; p = 0.007) was associated with stenosis progression. Results suggest that IPH on HR-MRI is associated with changes in cerebral atherosclerotic stenosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Brain Imaging)
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Article
AI Denoising Improves Image Quality and Radiological Workflows in Pediatric Ultra-Low-Dose Thorax Computed Tomography Scans
Tomography 2022, 8(4), 1678-1689; https://doi.org/10.3390/tomography8040140 - 24 Jun 2022
Viewed by 203
Abstract
(1) This study evaluates the impact of an AI denoising algorithm on image quality, diagnostic accuracy, and radiological workflows in pediatric chest ultra-low-dose CT (ULDCT). (2) Methods: 100 consecutive pediatric thorax ULDCT were included and reconstructed using weighted filtered back projection (wFBP), iterative [...] Read more.
(1) This study evaluates the impact of an AI denoising algorithm on image quality, diagnostic accuracy, and radiological workflows in pediatric chest ultra-low-dose CT (ULDCT). (2) Methods: 100 consecutive pediatric thorax ULDCT were included and reconstructed using weighted filtered back projection (wFBP), iterative reconstruction (ADMIRE 2), and AI denoising (PixelShine). Place-consistent noise measurements were used to compare objective image quality. Eight blinded readers independently rated the subjective image quality on a Likert scale (1 = worst to 5 = best). Each reader wrote a semiquantitative report to evaluate disease severity using a severity score with six common pathologies. The time to diagnosis was measured for each reader to compare the possible workflow benefits. Properly corrected mixed-effects analysis with post-hoc subgroup tests were used. Spearman’s correlation coefficient measured inter-reader agreement for the subjective image quality analysis and the severity score sheets. (3) Results: The highest noise was measured for wFBP, followed by ADMIRE 2, and PixelShine (76.9 ± 9.62 vs. 43.4 ± 4.45 vs. 34.8 ± 3.27 HU; each p < 0.001). The highest subjective image quality was measured for PixelShine, followed by ADMIRE 2, and wFBP (4 (4–5) vs. 3 (4–5) vs. 3 (2–4), each p < 0.001) with good inter-rater agreement (r ≥ 0.790; p ≤ 0.001). In diagnostic accuracy analysis, there was a good inter-rater agreement between the severity scores (r ≥ 0.764; p < 0.001) without significant differences between severity score items per reconstruction mode (F (5.71; 566) = 0.792; p = 0.570). The shortest time to diagnosis was measured for the PixelShine datasets, followed by ADMIRE 2, and wFBP (2.28 ± 1.56 vs. 2.45 ± 1.90 vs. 2.66 ± 2.31 min; F (1.000; 99.00) = 268.1; p < 0.001). (4) Conclusions: AI denoising significantly improves image quality in pediatric thorax ULDCT without compromising the diagnostic confidence and reduces the time to diagnosis substantially. Full article
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Editorial
Quantitative Imaging in Oncology
Tomography 2022, 8(4), 1676-1677; https://doi.org/10.3390/tomography8040139 - 24 Jun 2022
Viewed by 204
Abstract
The Special Issue of Tomography is a collection of articles focused on the quantitative imaging methods in clinical oncology [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quantitative Imaging in Oncology)
Article
Clinical Low Dose Photon Counting CT for the Detection of Urolithiasis: Evaluation of Image Quality and Radiation Dose
Tomography 2022, 8(4), 1666-1675; https://doi.org/10.3390/tomography8040138 - 23 Jun 2022
Viewed by 255
Abstract
The purpose of this study was the evaluation of image quality and radiation dose parameters of the novel photon counting CT (PCCT, Naeotom Alpha, Siemens Healthineers) using low-dose scan protocols for the detection of urolithiasis. Standard CT scans were used as a reference [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was the evaluation of image quality and radiation dose parameters of the novel photon counting CT (PCCT, Naeotom Alpha, Siemens Healthineers) using low-dose scan protocols for the detection of urolithiasis. Standard CT scans were used as a reference (S40, Somatom Sensation 40, Siemens Healthineers). Sixty-three patients, who underwent CT scans between August and December 2021, were retrospectively enrolled. Thirty-one patients were examined with the PCCT and 32 patients were examined with the S40. Radiation dose parameters, as well as quantitative and qualitative image parameters, were analyzed. The presence of urolithiasis, image quality, and diagnostic certainty were rated on a 5-point-scale by 3 blinded readers. Both patient groups (PCCT and S40) did not differ significantly in terms of body mass index. Radiation dose was significantly lower for examinations with the PCCT compared to the S40 (2.4 ± 1.0 mSv vs. 3.4 ± 1.0 mSv; p < 0.001). The SNR was significantly better on images acquired with the PCCT (13.3 ± 3.3 vs. 8.2 ± 1.9; p < 0.001). The image quality of the PCCT was rated significantly better (4.3 ± 0.7 vs. 2.8 ± 0.6; p < 0.001). The detection rate of kidney or ureter calculi was excellent with both CT scanners (PCCT 97.8% and S40 99%, p = 0.611). In high contrast imaging, such as the depiction of stones of the kidney and the ureter, PCCT allows a significant reduction of radiation dose, while maintaining excellent diagnostic confidence and image quality. Given this image quality with our current protocol, further adjustments towards ultra-low-dose CT scans appear feasible. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Abdominal Imaging)
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Review
Tuberculosis of the Heart: A Diagnostic Challenge
Tomography 2022, 8(4), 1649-1665; https://doi.org/10.3390/tomography8040137 - 22 Jun 2022
Viewed by 220
Abstract
Tuberculosis of the heart is relatively rare and presents a significant diagnostic difficulty for physicians. It is the leading cause of death from infectious illness. It is one of the top 10 leading causes of death worldwide, with a disproportionate impact in low- [...] Read more.
Tuberculosis of the heart is relatively rare and presents a significant diagnostic difficulty for physicians. It is the leading cause of death from infectious illness. It is one of the top 10 leading causes of death worldwide, with a disproportionate impact in low- and middle-income nations. The radiologist plays a pivotal role as CMR is a non-invasive radiological method that can aid in identifying potential overlap and differential diagnosis between tuberculosis, mass lesions, pericarditis, and myocarditis. Regardless of similarities or overlap in observations, the combination of clinical and certain particular radiological features, which are also detected by comparison to earlier and follow-up CMR scans, may aid in the differential diagnosis. CMR offers a significant advantage over echocardiography for detecting, characterizing, and assessing cardiovascular abnormalities. In conjunction with clinical presentation, knowledge of LGE, feature tracking, and parametric imaging in CMR may help in the early detection of tuberculous myopericarditis and serve as a surrogate for endomyocardial biopsy resulting in a quicker diagnosis and therapy. This article aims to explain the current state of cardiac tuberculosis, the diagnostic utility of CMR in tuberculosis (TB) patients, and offer an overview of the various imaging and laboratory procedures used to detect cardiac tuberculosis. Full article
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Article
Photon-Counting Detector CT Virtual Monoengergetic Images for Cochlear Implant Visualization—A Head to Head Comparison to Energy-Integrating Detector CT
Tomography 2022, 8(4), 1642-1648; https://doi.org/10.3390/tomography8040136 - 21 Jun 2022
Viewed by 344
Abstract
Cochlear implants (CIs) are the primary treatment method in patients with profound sensorineural hearing loss. Interpretation of postoperative imaging with conventional energy-integrating detector computed tomography (EID-CT) following CI surgery remains challenging due to metal artifacts. Still, the photon-counting detector (PCD-CT) is a new [...] Read more.
Cochlear implants (CIs) are the primary treatment method in patients with profound sensorineural hearing loss. Interpretation of postoperative imaging with conventional energy-integrating detector computed tomography (EID-CT) following CI surgery remains challenging due to metal artifacts. Still, the photon-counting detector (PCD-CT) is a new emerging technology with the potential to eliminate these problems. This study evaluated the performance of virtual monoenergetic (VME) EID-CT images versus PCD-CT in CI imaging. In this cadaveric study, two temporal bone specimens with implanted CIs were scanned with EID-CT and PCD-CT. The images were assessed according to the visibility of interelectrode wire, size of electrode contact, and diameter of halo artifacts. The visibility of interelectrode wire sections was significantly higher when reviewing PCD-CT images. The difference in diameter measurements for electrode contacts between the two CT scanner modalities showed that the PCD-CT technology generally led to significantly larger diameter readings. The larger measurements were closer to the manufacturer’s specifications for the CI electrode. The size of halo artifacts surrounding the electrode contacts did not differ significantly between the two imaging modalities. PCT-CT imaging is a promising technology for CI imaging with improved spatial resolution and better visibility of small structures than conventional EID-CT. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Neuroimaging)
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