64-MDCT Improves Radiologic Workflow in Mass Casualties

64-MDCT with volume image reading lowers image processing time, increases imaging capacity

FRIDAY, Sept. 9 (HealthDay News) -- The implementation of an emergency radiology protocol using a modern 64-multidetector computed tomography (MDCT) scanner coupled with volume image reading during a mass casualty incident improves radiologic workflow, according to a study published in the September issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology.

Markus Körner, M.D., from the Munich University Hospital in Germany, and colleagues investigated the impact of 64-MDCT use and volume image reading on radiologic workflow during a mass casualty incident simulation. Casualties taken to a level I trauma center underwent triage with whole body 64-MDCT. A new method of volume image reading was used to interpret and simultaneously reform the raw dataset of thin-section images. Workflow was evaluated using several time frames, including examination time, time needed for image processing, and mean image transfer rates. Results were compared to the data acquired from another study which used a 4-MDCT scan with axial images only and which transferred the data to a picture archiving and communication system.

The investigators found that the 64-MDCT took 4.1 minutes (range, 3.9 to 4.3 minutes) for complete image processing (acquisition, reconstruction, and transfer) compared to nine minutes (range, 6.4 to 10.2 minutes) taken by 4-MDCT. The image processing capacities were 14.8 and 6.7 examinations/hour with 64-MDCT and 4-MDCT, respectively, and the mean number of images was 953 and 202, respectively. The time needed to prepare patients did not differ significantly between 64-MDCT and 4-MDCT.

"The use of 64-MDCT with volume image reading led to evident advantages in the radiologic trauma workflow compared with 4-MDCT," the authors write.

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