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Phlebology. 2012 Sep;27(6):270-88. doi: 10.1258/phleb.2012.012J07.

Three-dimensional modelling of the venous system by direct multislice helical computed tomography venography: technique, indications and results.

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Varicose Vein Surgical Center, 113 Avenue Victor Hugo, 75116 Paris, France.


The aim of multislice helical computed tomography venography (CTV) is to provide a precise, global and three-dimensional (3D) anatomical depiction of the venous network of the lower limbs. A multislice and multidetector spiral CT acquisition of the lower limbs with contrast injection of the dorsal foot produces about 1000 slices in 30 seconds. Dedicated volume-rendering software can compute a realistic and interactive 3D model of the venous system in realtime. This new tool furnishes an accurate 3D representation of the whole venous system of the lower limb with a realistic 3D model of the limbs, providing a road map of the varicose networks complementary to the duplex ultrasound (DUS). CTV allows a complete morphological study of the deep veins, including the detection of anatomical variations and proximal venous obstruction, not easily detectable by DUS. In the case of deep vein thrombosis, it has been shown to be a good diagnostic tool, well correlated with sonography. It also demonstrates, in some cases, haemodynamic patterns which are not available by DUS, particularly for perforator veins and congenital vascular malformations. The use of virtual reality techniques enables a complete anatomical study of both deep and superficial veins including a virtual dissection of the limbs. CTV is also a great educational tool to learn anatomy of the venous system and a powerful research tool to improve our knowledge of venous anatomy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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