Preoperative Rib Cartilage Imaging in 3-Dimensional Chest Computed Tomography for Auricular Reconstruction for Microtia


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Abstract

BackgroundThere are several methods that may be used to confirm the status of rib cartilage, such as physical examinations or chest radiography, for subjects with microtia. However, these methods are limited because of clinicians’ inability to gain accurate information about the rib cartilage. We performed 3-dimensional chest computed tomography to preoperatively evaluate the accuracy of rib cartilage imaging.MethodsA total of 37 patients preparing for auricular reconstruction using a rib cartilage graft underwent preoperative 3-dimensional rib cage computed tomography (3-D rib CT). The 3-D rib CT was performed in cases of secondary revisional reconstruction, those with a history of surgery using rib cartilage, in those with a history of trauma related to the rib cage, older patients with question of calcification of rib cartilage, or those with a suspected rib cartilage anomaly on physical examination. Preoperatively, the appropriateness of using the rib cartilage were evaluated.ResultsWith the aid of the 3-D rib CT, successful autogenous auricular reconstruction was achieved in 36 patients. Framework fabrication in combination with a porous polyethylene implant and autogenous rib cartilage was performed in the remaining patient as planned preoperatively. By analyzing the 3-D rib CT image preoperatively, auricular reconstruction using a recycled rib cartilage graft with newly harvested rib cartilage was performed successfully in 13 of 14 secondary revisional cases. Based on preoperative CT images, modified surgical planning in terms of cartilage harvest and framework fabrication was needed in 8 of 11 patients who had a history of operation using rib cartilage and in 3 of 5 subjects with suspected rib cage anomalies on physical examination. Successful reconstruction was achieved using the modified surgical plan.ConclusionsA preoperative 3-D rib CT helps in surgical planning for autogenous auricular reconstruction for microtia, especially in patients with suspicious rib cartilage status.

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