RATIONALE AND OBJECTIVES:
Great expertise is necessary to mentally compile a series of individual two-dimensional image sections into a three-dimensional (3D) composite view that can aid in differential diagnosis. The purpose of this study was to test 3D volume-rendering techniques for differentiating congenital cystic adenomatoid malformation from congenital diaphragmatic hernia.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
The authors acquired T2-weighted magnetic resonance (MR) images of a 27-week fetus in the sagittal plane and then applied the 3D volume-rendering method to the MR image data sets to obtain a composite 3D image.
It was unclear on the MR images whether the intestines were situated above or below the diaphragm. The composite image showed that the intestines were not herniated into the chest, and this facilitated a diagnosis of congenital cystic adenomatoid malformation rather than congenital diaphragmatic hernia.
The 3D volume-rendering techniques aided in the assessment of fetal organ structure and could be applied also to preoperative simulation and planning of fetal surgery.