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3-D Software Useful to Check Outcome of Facial Surgery

Study finds images can help ensure good surgical result for orbital blowout fractures

TUESDAY, Nov. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Three-dimensional images from computer tomography (CT) scans can help ensure good results from surgery to treat orbital blowout fractures, according to a study in the November/December issue of the Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery.

Jaehwan Kwon, M.D., of Stanford University in California, and colleagues conducted a study of 24 patients with unilateral pure blowout fractures who underwent facial CT scans before and after surgery. Using two different 3-D software programs -- Vitrea from Vital Images Inc., Minnetonka, Minn., and Dextroscope, from Bracco AMT Inc., Princeton, N.J. -- the researchers measured the orbital and displaced soft tissue volumes.

Although the two software systems produced slightly different measurements of preoperative and postoperative orbital volumes, as well as volumes of displaced soft tissue, the differences were not statistically significant, the researchers found.

"It is very difficult to measure the exact bony orbital volume, even after orbital trauma. The ideal measurement method should be available worldwide, be easy to perform on standard radiological scans, have a short learning curve, and be able to be performed in a short amount of time, with low systemic measurement errors. We hope that studies such as ours will lead to the development of a computer software program that is specifically designed to measure the volume on CT scans more accurately and reproducibly," the authors write.

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