Purpose: Our goal was to perform a detailed comparison of the relative performances of helical CT (pitches 1.0, 1.5, and 2.0) and conventional (overlapped and nonoverlapped) CT in detailed 3D and MPR musculoskeletal imaging. Method: A specially designed bone fragment phantom was imaged with multiple slice thicknesses using conventional (overlapped and nonoverlapped) and helical (varying pitch and slice index) CT. Studies were randomized, blinded, and graded using predetermined criteria by 10 radiologists. Statistical analysis included an assessment of raw image scores, a separate testing using duplicate copies of the conventional images as gold standards, and a multivariate model based upon the results of both scoring systems. Results: When assessing raw scores of the images, conventional scans were consistently scored more favorably than helical studies. Decreasing the slice index improved conventional CT studies and helical studies with a pitch of 1.0, but showed no effect on helical studies with a pitch of >1.0. When using the conventional studies as gold standards, the helical studies were consistently graded as poorer than conventional overlapped and nonoverlapped studies. Conclusion: For detailed musculoskeletal 3D and MPR work, helical CT may not adequately compare with conventional CT and offers no discernible advantage, particularly for pitches of >1.0.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging