OBJECTIVE To evaluate the efficacy of three-dimensional computed tomography (3D-CT) in delineating the relationship of the adrenal mass to adjacent normal structures in preparation for laparoscopic partial adrenalectomy. METHODS Multislice CT (1 mm slices, 0.5 s rotation time) was used to evaluate 12 patients before adrenal-sparing surgery for aldosterone-producing adenoma or phaeochromocytoma. The CT data were reconstructed using two rendering techniques; (i) volume rendering with the modified VOLREN software (Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD, USA) which allowed interactive 3D examination of the whole data volume within a few minutes; (ii) surface representations only of the interesting structures (kidney, adrenal tumour, vessels) represented in different colours and depicted together in a 3D scene using the software package 3DVIEWNIX. RESULTS In all, 14 adrenal masses in 12 patients were evaluated with 3D-CT; the number and location of lesions was accurate in all cases with both rendering techniques. The coloured surface-rendered images showed a consistently better delineation of the adrenal tumour from the normal tissue than did the volume-rendering technique. From this information all laparoscopic partial adrenalectomies could be completed as planned. CONCLUSION Interactive visualization of volume-rendered CT images was helpful for the planning and successful performance of the procedure, but coloured surface-rendered CT provided more convenient, immediate and accurate intraoperative information.
Useful keywords (using NLM MeSH Indexing)
Adrenal Gland Neoplasms/radiography*
Adrenal Gland Neoplasms/surgery
Tomography, X-Ray Computed/methods*
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