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Semin Vasc Surg. 2007 Jun;20(2):108-14.

Cross-sectional imaging studies: what can we learn and what do we need to know?

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  • 1Cardiovascular Imaging, Department of Radiology, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH 44195, USA.


Rapid, noninvasive imaging approaches can provide novel diagnostic information and, when effectively interpreted and implemented in a therapeutic strategy, can simplify procedures. Endovascular therapy of thoracic and abdominal aortic disease represents a dramatic shift in treatment of thoracoabdominal aortic disease, but one that requires a change in the knowledge base regarding both the morphology and pathophysiology of aortic disease and the interaction with interventional devices. As a result, the demands on cross-sectional imaging have increased commensurately with the complexity of the therapeutic options, but advances in cross-sectional imaging have kept pace. Current computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technologies provide detailed morphologic assessment, and are advancing rapidly into more sophisticated physiologic evaluation of aortic disease. These advances may more effectively triage patients to appropriate therapy, or exclude patients from unnecessary invasive procedures. The information gleaned from CT and MRI studies is critical for the vascular surgeon who wants to identify appropriate vascular territories for intervention, plan a detailed approach, and develop sophisticated surveillance strategies.

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