Virtual endoscopy enables computer-generated 3-dimensional visualization of a cavity by reconstructing 2-dimensional computed tomographic or magnetic resonance data. The technique has been used experimentally to study the colon, bronchi, ears, and other structures. Here, virtual laryngoscopies were created from the cross-sectional image data of 3 patients. The cases represented a normal airway, a squamous cell carcinoma of the glottic fold, and a posterior glottic stenosis. These reconstructions included extraluminal anatomy that is not typical of current virtual endoscopic techniques. The 2- dimensional computed tomographic and magnetic resonance images of the patients underwent post-processing for 3-dimensional reconstruction. The resulting models were imported into an experimental virtual endoscopy program for 1) airway lumen generation and 2) interactive viewing. Though they could not be used for biopsy, the virtual laryngoscopies provided, in a noninvasive fashion, good simulation of endoscopy. Virtual endoscopy also gave the added benefits of the ability to assess the transmural extent of disease and view the airway distal to areas of luminal compromise. This technology may well provide clinical benefit in preoperative planning, staging, and intraprocedural guidance for head and neck disease and merits further study.
- Computer-assisted imaging
- Head and neck
- Three-dimensional reconstruction
- Virtual endoscopy
ASJC Scopus subject areas