High-resolution magnetic resonance and volume rendering of the labyrinth
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Our aim was to verify the feasibility of volume rendering (VR) of high-resolution magnetic resonance (HR-MR) data sets of the labyrinth. We retrospectively reviewed the HR-MR data sets of 16 consecutive patients with no MR evidence of labyrinthine pathology. High-resolution MR data sets were obtained by means of a 3D T2-weighted FSE sequence with the use of a 3-in. circular surface coil for signal reception, and processed with a high-end workstation. Two reviewers performed separately VR of the labyrinth by selecting the signal intensity interval for attribution of opacity and transparency. Concerning the time taken for definition of the volume of interest, the two observers needed, respectively, 28.9 and 33.1 min (SD ± 8.7–9.5 min), whereas the time taken for VR was respectively, 26 and 33.2 min (SD ± 8.8–8.9 min). Concerning the selection of the signal intensity interval, the two observers had, respectively, 86.4 and 88.7 mean lower threshold (SD ± 34.5–33.5), 488.9 and 495.4 mean upper threshold (SD ± 56.3–53.8). In our experience, we have found VR of HR-MR to offer a reliable and reproducible technique for producing 3D representations of the labyrinth. The VR algorithms use all data within the imaging volume and optimize the dynamic range ascribed to the object being visualized.
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