3D imaging plays a vital role in medical diagnoses and treatment. Since the size of some tumors increases slowly and it is crucial to measure a glioma to identify shifts in the growth rate over time, this is a factor in identifying patients at risk for cancer. Traditionally, 2D measurements were used to assess images, but there were issues with such simple evaluations. It was hard to know which slice should be measured and since tumors are irregularly shaped, there is likely no point in taking a 2-dimensional measurement. The dawning of the 3D laboratory has allowed for a more multifaceted volume measurement. Tumor size could be monitored more accurately and with the use of image registration data and a precise growth assessment, the clinical scientist had access to vital data to help identify at-risk patients who may benefit from aggressive early therapy.
The cross-sectional exams produce a condensed visual summary that allows 3D imaging to:
- Create faster and easier to read studies
- Speed up diagnoses, treatment planning, and surgery
- Improve clinical productivity
Without extending patient visits during an exam, benefits of 3D imaging include:
- A boost in diagnostic confidence
- A substitute for expensive and evasive diagnostic procedures
- Facilitate planning for non-invasive procedures
- Lessen operating time
- Lower risk of complications
- More easily understood visuals for patient communication and education
- Preserve more healthy tissue by targeting specific areas
Although it has taken quite some time to gain acceptance, 3D imaging is currently an accepted approach to medical image visualization. The technology gradually gained acceptance for certain applications including virtual colonoscopy and vascular surgery. Today, it is used in many MR, US and CT studies. The results are faster to achieve and easier to read. and hundreds of images can be viewed in a single study.