MDCT can be used to detect bone and cartilage changes

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The use of a multidetector CT (MDCT) with 3D reconstruction offers images and quantitative measurements of bone and cartilage changes in patients who have undergone Ravitch thoracoplasty, according to a study in the Journal of Thoracic Cardiovascular Surgery.

Pei-Yang Chang and colleagues at the Chang Gung Children’s Hospital, Chang Gung University College of Medicine in Taoyuan, Taiwan, examined the quantitative measurements of long-term changes in the bone, cartilage and contour of the chest wall through the use of MDCT with 3D reconstruction.

Between 1985 and 2002, 114 patients with congenital chest wall deformity received Ravitch thoracoplasty at Chang Gung Children’s Hospital. MDCT with 3D reconstruction was performed on 36 patients between 4 and 18 years after the initial operation. Of those 36, 24 patients without a surgical intervention were enrolled as a control group.

The results showed that the costal cartilage shortening ratio showed significant shortening of the regenerated cartilage in the third to sixth ribs bilaterally, and the clubbing index confirmed significant clubbing in the bony ends of the third to fifth ribs. The changes were not demonstrated in the control group, which showed the significant bone and cartilage change after undergoing Ravitch thoracoplasty.

The researchers concluded that further investigation would be necessary to clarify the clinical impact of these phenomena.