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Book and Media Reviews
August 20, 2008

CT of the Airways

JAMA. 2008;300(7):851. doi:10.1001/jama.300.7.jbk0820-c

Computed tomography (CT) imaging has undergone a dramatic transformation since its invention in 1972 by Godfrey Hounsfield and Allan Cormack. The original 1971 CT scanner prototype required more than 5 minutes for data acquisition, and image processing required more than 2 hours. In the early 1990s, the development of spiral CT scanning significantly decreased acquisition time by allowing a continuous tabletop feed. Then, in the late 1990s, multidetector CT technology further decreased acquisition time while simultaneously improving anatomical resolution. Current multidetector technology obtains submillimeter resolution in a matter of just seconds. In just 35 years, CT has progressed from a crude and burdensome technology to a lightning-fast, noninvasive way to obtain exquisite 3-dimensional images of the body. Furthermore, state-of-the-art equipment has become increasingly commonplace in clinics and hospitals throughout the world. These rapid advances have created a great need for leaders in the field to ensure that this important technology is properly applied and understood.

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