Clinical Examples

Many different types of CT exams can be utilized, such as pelvic, abdomen, spine, chest, and whole-body CT exams, with or without contrast. Examples include: patients with inflammatory bowel disease undergoing CT enterography; older patients undergoing CT colonography or any abdominal or pelvic or spine CT; orthopaedic surgery patients for spine fusion undergoing CT pre-surgically; or cancer-survivor patients undergoing CT or PET/CT. In assessing bone quality for a patient about to undergo a spinal fusion, for example, a single vertebral body (typically from T12–L3) can be analyzed utilizing a spine CT taken for pre-operative assessment and surgical planning. Patients who test positive for either osteoporosis or fragile bone strength would be considered at high risk of a fracture, indicative of poor bone quality.

vertebral trabecular

Assessing bone quality from a spine CT exam. A patient in any red zone would be considered at high risk of a fracture, indicative of having poor bone quality.