Based on spiral computer tomography data three dimensional reconstruction of temporal bone have been made easy these days.
Anatomical details of the inner and middle ear on obtained images are shown above.
3dimensional CT is a valuable source of supplementary information on inner ear disease and ossicular chain continuity.
It is highly useful to get three-dimensional (3D) reconstruction of computed tomography (CT) images which will help in determining the anatomy and topographic relationship between various important structures in the temporal bone. 3D reconstruction based on the image data from spiral high-resolution CT using special software, is performed by segmentation, volume-rendering and surface-rendering algorithms on a personal computer.
The 3D display of the middle and inner ear structures was demonstrated in detail in the pictures on this site. Computer-assisted measurements, many of which could not be easily measured in vivo, of the reconstructed structures provided accurate anatomic details that improved the surgeon\’s understanding of spatial relationships.
A 3D reconstruction of temporal bone CT might be useful not only for education and increasing understanding of the anatomical structures of the temporal bone but can be extremely useful in making better diagnosis of inner ear and middle ear diseases.
I have compared a small number of 3D CT images of temporal bones of normal individuals and those having clinically diagnosed ossicular chain discontinuity, Meniers disease (Labyrinthine Hydrops) and Benign positional vertigo(Otolith) cases, and I found amazing pictures confirming my clinical diagnosis. It was found that 3D-CT was useful in observing the minute structure of the inner ear in that it could ascertain spatial relationships and minute constrictions and protrusions that could not be detected by 2D analysis
I am convinced that this area needs further studies and may help the ENT surgeon to make better diagnosis of the inner ear disorders. It may be controversial to begin with, but keeping an open mind, this new technology may be revolutionary in the field of radio diagnosis. In future it may become helpful in assessing the stage of embryological anomalies in cochlea in utero too.
( For those interested in doing studies in this field, I can provide more 3D images-Courtesy to Dr.Asha FRCR, Travancore Scan, Trivandrum)