The current issue of the Journal of X-Ray Science and Technology now features 3D imaging embedded within its articles for the first time. Use of this digital and multimedia technique enhances the value of five papers, which focus on kidney injuries, tumor diagnoses, and dental medicine. Videos of these rotating 3D images can be accessed directly, allowing readers to examine them in detail and gain deeper understanding of the diagnoses, prognoses, and treatments described.
Guest Editor Yuanyuan Zhang, MD, PhD, of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA, notes that “State-of-the-art cross-sectional imaging approaches make it possible to visualize diseases-affected tissues or defected organs with greater assurance by minimizing the interrupter of overlying tissues to focus on individual organs, which aids in the detection and characterization of targeted tissues. The rotated multimedia 3D videos provide animations, which could better help medical students, residents, practitioners, and inquisitive minds better understand the diseases.”
Five papers in this issue demonstrate how imaging techniques contributed to positive patient outcomes. The 3D imaging incorporated directly into the articles provides greater insights and learning opportunities.
Trauma to the kidney is common. While ultrasound and MRI can be used to evaluate these injuries, computed tomography (CT) is more effective, and 3D reconstructed CT is even more helpful. Physicians from the New District Central Hospital, Shenzhen, China, and the Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA, examined 126 patients with kidney injuries, using multi-slice spiral CT (MSCT) between January 2012 and February 2016. MSCT achieved a 100% diagnostic accuracy rate, confirmed by surgical findings. The authors concluded that the enhanced MSCT scan permits reliable detection of renal trauma and the associated organ or tissue injuries, providing important clinical value for the diagnosis and classification of renal trauma or internal organ injures.
Wilm’s tumor or nephroblastoma, a rare kidney cancer commonly affecting children under age 5, can grow significantly without causing pain or other symptoms. Conservative renal surgery is the most commonly selected treatment, requiring accurate mapping of the tumor. This article describes how creation of a 3D image helped physicians remove a large tumor in a 3-year old girl, who is now in good health eight months after surgery.
A rare congenital disorder that results in an “extra” ureter in the genitourinary tract can be visualized more effectively using MSCT. In the next contribution, researchers describe the case of a 27-year-old male patient with an almost complete duplication of the ureter from his left kidney. Finding this structure and correcting it surgically was facilitated by a 3D reconstruction of the patient’s anatomy before surgery.
Adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) is an extremely rare disease caused by a cancerous growth in the adrenal cortex. ACC is malignant and necessitates surgical removal. In the next article, physicians describe how they achieved a better surgical outcome by integrating 3D-reconstructed CT images into a dynamic video for preoperative planning and intraoperative guidance. They were able to resect the diseased adrenal gland completely without neighbor organ injury and surgical complications.
The final article concerns a not-so-rare condition, malocclusion or “poor bite.” Because many cases of malocclusion are found in young children, for whom the higher radiation dose and extended scanning time of standard CT scanning are not desirable, the authors describe a lower dose and faster technique, cone beam computed tomography (CBCT). With the advent of CBCT, it is now possible for clinicians to evaluate the hard and soft tissues of the maxillofacial region in 3D and high spatial detail.
According to Advisory Editor-in-Chief Hong Liu, PhD, Center for Bioengineering and School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Oklahoma, “Digital and multimedia techniques are used more and more to facilitate scientific presentations. As an interdisciplinary journal publishing numerous papers spanning the field of medical imaging, the Journal of X-Ray Science and Technology should lead the way to serve our authors and readers with advanced presentation methods.”