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Book

Review.
Spiral

CT: Principles,

Techniques,

and Clinical

Applications

Edited by Effiot K. Fishman,


MD, and R. Brooke Jeffrey,
New York, NY: Raven Press, 1994. ISBN 0-7817-0218-6.
tables.

It has been 5 years since spiral (helical)


techniques
began
to revolutionize
the
practice
of computed
tomography
(CT).
This book is written
by some of the bestknown
authorities
in the field and promises to be a snapshot
of this still rapidly
evolving
technology.
Only one previous
book, which
was based
on the proceedings of a 1990 user conference
in Zurich,
Switzerland,
has focused
exclusively
on
spiral CT (Advances
in CT, edited
by W.
A. Fuchs
[New York, NY: Springer-Verlag New York, Inc, 1990]). A third book
on the subject
has appeared
almost
simultaneously
with the one reviewed
here (Helical/Spiral
CT: A Practical
Approach, by R. K. Zeman
et al. [New York,
NY:

McGraw-Hill,

1994]).

Fifteen
authors,
primarily
from The
Johns
Hopkins
Hospital
and Stanford
University,
have contributed
to this volume. A brief introductory
chapter
covers
the basic principles
of spiral CT. Despite
an abundance
of mathematical
formulas,
this

chapter

is easily

eclipsed

in both

technical
detail
and readability
by the
corresponding
chapter
in Helical/Spiral
CT. Missing
is an easy-to-understand
explanation
of the complex
interactions
between
the bewildering
array of new
operator-defined
parameters
such as
pitch and interpolation
algorithms.
The
following
chapter,
on the other
hand,
which
covers
the pharmacokinetics
of
contrast
material
administered
before
spiral CT, is distinctly
helpful.
Lessons
learned
from both the prespiral
era and
the use of spiral equipment
are discussed,
and pitfalls
of the new technology-particularly
the dangers
of scan-

158

#{149}
Radiology

Jr, MD
Cloth, $125.00;

pp 240; 314 figures;

ning the liver or kidney


too soon after
the administration
of contrast
material
has begun-are
illustrated.
The chapters
that follow
discuss
various clinical
applications
of spiral CT,
which
include
the imaging
of liver tumors and hepatic
parenchymal
disease,
the pancreas,
the spleen,
the thorax,
lung cancer,
and the musculoskeletal
system.
A chapter
that highlights
the
pediatric
aspects
of spiral CT confirms
that studies
of combative
and unrestrained
children
are still preferably
obtamed
with conventional
incremental
CT because
of the sensitivity
of spiral CT
to high-amplitude
motion
artifacts.
The
next three excellent
chapters
discuss
spiral CT angiography
in principle
and
practice.
The most interesting
chapter,
however,
is the last of this well-balanced
book. In this chapter,
Dr Fishman
gives
examples
of the impact
spiral CT has had
on some specific
oncologic
applications.
He emphasizes
the advantages
of enabling
the diagnosis
of complex
disease
and of guiding
biopsies.
Overall,
the 314
figures
are of good to excellent
quality
and well annotated.
It is a difficult
and frustrating
task to
write a book that will soon be outdated
with the rapid
accumulation
of new
technical
developments
and wealth
of
clinical
experience.
For the moment,
however,
this book fills a void in the literature
and should
satisfy
many
newcomers
to spiral CT.

Reviewed

by Christopher

E. Engeler,

MD

July 1995