Multidetector-row spiral computed tomography in the diagnosis of thoracic diseases

Samuel K. Dawn, Michael B. Gotway, W. Richard Webb

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Since its introduction in 1992, spiral computed tomography (CT) scanners constructed with a single row of detectors have revolutionized imaging of thoracic diseases. Current state-of-the-art models use up to 16 detectors and are capable of acquiring 4 contiguous slices of data with each gantry rotation; systems with 8 data acquisition units (and more) are currently in development The principal advantages offered by these systems are increased scanning speed and the ability to obtain volumetric data in high resolution. These features enable imaging with enhanced contrast concentration, decreased contrast load, decreased respiratory' and cardiac motion artifact, and multiplanar and 3-dimensional reconstruction capabilities. Herein we first review the technical aspects of multidetector spiral CT scanning. The arrangement and various combinations of the detector rows are discussed. Key scanning variables, including collimation (slice thickness), pitch (the rate of table travel per gantry rotation divided by the beam collimation), and gantry speed, are briefly addressed in the context of their interrelationships. Comparison is made with single-detector-row systems to emphasize the superior scanning speed and resolution. We then discuss the various clinical applications of multidetector spiral CT, including CT pulmonary angiography, CT aortography, virtual bronchoscopy, and multiplanar and 3-dimensional reconstructions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)912-921
Number of pages10
JournalRespiratory care
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2001


  • 3-dimensional reconstruction
  • Aortography
  • CT
  • Multidetector-row spiral computed tomography
  • Multiplanar reconstruction
  • Pulmonary angiography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Multidetector-row spiral computed tomography in the diagnosis of thoracic diseases'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this