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March 1994

Three-dimensional Imaging of the Parapharyngeal Space

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Otolaryngology, University of Toronto (Ontario) (Dr Lofchy); the Volume Investigation Laboratory, Toronto Western Division, The Toronto Hospital (Drs Lofchy and Stevens); the Eye Research Institute of Canada, Toronto (Dr Stevens); and the Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Program, The Toronto Hospital (Dr Brown).

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1994;120(3):333-336. doi:10.1001/archotol.1994.01880270079013

Recent advances in computer technology have allowed the introduction of workstations into the hospital capable of creating or reconstructing three-dimensional (3-D) models from serial cross sections of an object. These can be obtained from either computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging scans. The reconstruction is stored in the computer's memory and may be interactively displayed and analyzed. Morphometric parameters may be used to characterize the object; it may be rotated or cut; light sources may be moved to enhance surface detail; or selective translucency can be created—in effect, the volumetric model of the reconstructed object can be explored in detail. Herein we examine the use of 3-D reconstructions of computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging scans of parapharyngeal space tumors of varying pathologic features, both common and rare. This anatomic region (in which complex spatial relationships are probably best appreciated in 3-D) lends itself to this type of reconstruction. The 3-D reconstructions can be a useful tool for determining and following tumor volumes, and 3-D technology has immediate applications in diagnostic imaging, surgical planning, patient education, and medical research. (Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1994;120:333-336)

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