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Br J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2007 Oct;45(7):543-7. Epub 2007 Apr 30.

Volume-rendered three-dimensional spiral computed tomographic angiography as a planning tool for microsurgical reconstruction in patients who have had operations or radiotherapy for oropharyngeal cancer.

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Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Plastic Surgery, Ruhr University Bochum, Knappschaftskrankenhaus Bochum-Langendreer, In der Schornau 23-25, 44892 Bochum, Germany.


Three-dimensional spiral computed tomographic angiography (3D-SCTA) is a minimally invasive method of delineating vessels in three-dimensional detail. Our aim was to evaluate the clinical usefulness of volume-rendered three-dimensional SCTA for planning microsurgical reconstruction. Eighteen patients had a spiral computed tomogram (CT) of the extracranial carotid arteries. The volume rendering technique (VRT) was used to visualise the cervical vessels, and the three-dimensional SCTA images evaluated by a staff radiologist. Radiographic and operative findings were correlated in 13 of 18 patients. The anatomical and pathological alterations of vascular anatomy identified by three-dimensional SCTA correlated exactly with operative findings and led to a successful microsurgical reconstruction. Oropharyngeal reconstruction with microvascular free flaps requires accurate evaluation of the vascular system of the carotid arteries, and improves the accuracy of diagnostic decisions. Three-dimensional SCTA enables the surgeon to establish an appropriate treatment plan.

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