Whole-body computed tomography in trauma patients: optimization of the patient scanning position significantly shortens examination time while maintaining diagnostic image quality
Received 9 January 2018
Accepted for publication 4 March 2018
Published 7 May 2018 Volume 2018:14 Pages 849—859
Checked for plagiarism Yes
Review by Single-blind
Peer reviewer comments 2
Editor who approved publication: Professor Garry Walsh
Tilman Hickethier,1,* Kamal Mammadov,1,* Bettina Baeßler,1 Thorsten Lichtenstein,1 Jochen Hinkelbein,2 Lucy Smith,3 Patrick Sven Plum,4 Seung-Hun Chon,4 David Maintz,1 De-Hua Chang1
1Department of Radiology, University Hospital of Cologne, Cologne, Germany; 2Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine, University Hospital of Cologne, Cologne, Germany; 3Faculty of Medicine, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s, Canada; 4Department of General, Visceral and Cancer Surgery, University Hospital of Cologne, Cologne, Germany
*These authors contributed equally to this work
Background: The study was conducted to compare examination time and artifact vulnerability of whole-body computed tomographies (wbCTs) for trauma patients using conventional or optimized patient positioning.
Patients and methods: Examination time was measured in 100 patients scanned with conventional protocol (Group A: arms positioned alongside the body for head and neck imaging and over the head for trunk imaging) and 100 patients scanned with optimized protocol (Group B: arms flexed on a chest pillow without repositioning). Additionally, influence of two different scanning protocols on image quality in the most relevant body regions was assessed by two blinded readers.
Results: Total wbCT duration was about 35% or 3:46 min shorter in B than in A. Artifacts in aorta (27 vs 6%), liver (40 vs 8%) and spleen (27 vs 5%) occurred significantly more often in B than in A. No incident of non-diagnostic image quality was reported, and no significant differences for lungs and spine were found.
Conclusion: An optimized wbCT positioning protocol for trauma patients allows a significant reduction of examination time while still maintaining diagnostic image quality.
Keywords: CT scan, polytrauma, acute care, time requirement, positioning
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