Preoperative Evaluation of the Right Upper Lobe Pulmonary Artery by 3D-CT Pulmonary Angiography vs. Thin-Section Multiplanar Reconstruction Images Obtained by Contrast-Enhanced Multidetector-Row CT.


We compared the effectiveness of 3-dimensional computed tomography pulmonary angiography (3D-CTPA) and thin-section multiplanar reconstruction (MPR) images obtained using contrast-enhanced multidetector row CT (MDCT), in the evaluation of pulmonary artery (PA) branches of the right upper lobe. We studied 127 patients suspected of having lung cancer of the right upper lobe who underwent contrast-enhanced MDCT scans and a right upper lobectomy. We compared the intraoperative findings of the PA branches of the right upper lobe obtained with 3D-CTPA and thin-section MPR images. In 125 (97.7%) patients, one or more PA branches arose from arteries other than the superior trunk. Among 10 (7.9%) patients, a PA branch arose from the middle lobe in one patient and from the superior segment of the lower lobe in the other 9 patients. According to the intraoperative findings, 97.2% and 99.7% of the PA branches were identified by 3D-CTPA and thin-section MPR images, respectively (p < 0.03). The single branch missed by both imaging modalities was 1.0mm in dia. The 8 branches missed only by 3D-CTPA were < 1.4mm in dia. Both the 3D-CTPA and thin-section MPR images provided precise preoperative information regarding PA branches of the right upper lobe. However, the thin-section MPR images appeared to contribute more to the evaluation of smaller PA branches.


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