Skeletal Radiology

, Volume 36, Issue 12, pp 1163–1169 | Cite as

Four-dimensional computed tomographic imaging in the wrist: proof of feasibility in a cadaveric model

  • Shian-Chao Tay
  • Andrew N. Primak
  • Joel G. Fletcher
  • Bernhard Schmidt
  • Kimberly K. Amrami
  • Richard A. Berger
  • Cynthia H. McColloughEmail author
Scientific Article



High-resolution real-time three-dimensional (3D) imaging of the moving wrist may provide novel insights into the pathophysiology of joint instability. The purpose of this work was to assess the feasibility of using retrospectively gated spiral computed tomography (CT) to perform four-dimensional (4D) imaging of the moving wrist joint.

Materials and methods

A cadaver forearm from below the elbow was mounted on a motion simulator which performed radioulnar deviation of the wrist at 30 cycles per minute. An electronic trigger from the simulator provided the “electrocardiogram” (ECG) signal required for gated reconstructions. Four-dimensional and 3D images were compared by a blinded observer for image quality and presence of artifacts.


Image quality of 4D images was found to be excellent at the extremes of radial and ulnar deviation (end-motion phases). Some artifacts were seen in mid-motion phases.


4D CT musculoskeletal imaging is feasible. Four-dimensional CT may allow clinicians to assess functional (dynamic) instabilities of the wrist joint.


Four-dimensional wrist imaging Dynamic carpal instabilities Retrospectively gated spiral computed tomography Dynamic real-time musculoskeletal imaging Multi-detector CT 



Dr. Tay wishes to acknowledge financial support from Mayo Foundation, Rochester, MN, USA and National Medical Research Council, Singapore. The authors would like to thank Mr. Larry Berglund for the construction of the motion simulator and Ms Kristina Nunez for assistance with manuscript preparation.


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Copyright information

© ISS 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shian-Chao Tay
    • 1
  • Andrew N. Primak
    • 2
  • Joel G. Fletcher
    • 2
    • 3
  • Bernhard Schmidt
    • 4
  • Kimberly K. Amrami
    • 2
  • Richard A. Berger
    • 1
  • Cynthia H. McCollough
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Orthopedics Biomechanics LaboratoryMayo Clinic College of MedicineRochesterUSA
  2. 2.Department of RadiologyMayo Clinic College of MedicineRochesterUSA
  3. 3.CT Innovation CenterMayo Clinic College of MedicineRochesterUSA
  4. 4.Siemens Medical SolutionsForchheimGermany

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