Comparison of helical and serial CT with regard to three-dimensional imaging of musculoskeletal anatomy

Derek R. Ney, Elliot K. Fishman, Akira Kawashima, Douglas D. Robertson, William W. Scott

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


To test the hypothesis that helical computed tomographic (CT) scans provide three-dimensional images as good as or better than those provided by serial CT, two objects were used to study the effects of helical CT: an angled cylindrical bone phantom and a human cadaveric femur specimen with a simulated fracture 1 mm wide. Both objects were immersed in a water bath, and a series of helical and serial CT scans were obtained with various parameters. Volumetric rendering was applied to the resultant data sets to create three-dimensional images, which three radiologists reviewed in a blinded manner to rate their fidelity, accuracy, and diagnostic usefulness. As expected, the images obtained with thin collimation and small intersection spacing or slow table movement were considered superior. Helical and serial CT data acquired with similar parameters were similar in quality, but helical CT is approximately five times faster than serial CT; hence, it is possible to use thinner collimation and obtain more sectional data with helical CT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)865-869
Number of pages5
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1992


  • Computed tomography (CT), helical technology
  • Computed tomography (CT), three-dimensional
  • Femur, CT, 40.1211
  • Phantoms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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