Potential of three-dimensional ultrasound in neonatal and paediatric neurosonography

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Abstract.The aim of this study was to describe the potential of three-dimensional ultrasound (3D US) in paediatric and neonatal neurosonography. The potential applications are illustrated based on our experience in 150 patients using three different 3D US techniques at two different sites. Various disease entities throughout the paediatric age have been evaluated. The potential of 3D US, including 3D US of the cerebral vessels based on colour Doppler data, is discussed based on comparison with conventional 2D US or other imaging (as available), and with regard to the literature. In our experience, 3D US is feasible in neonatal and paediatric neurosonography. It reduces imaging time, improves demonstration of complex anatomy and vasculature, and allows for evaluation of anatomy/pathology in any plane. The 3D US furthermore improves volume assessment (e.g. in hydrocephalus), and comparison with CT, MRI and during follow-up, with a potentially improved standardisation and documentation. The 3D US additionally offers an ideal modality for training and education, as the brain and the neonatal spine can be virtually rescanned at the workstation. Yet, limitations such as areas inaccessible to 2D US, limited resolution and motion artefacts have to be acknowledged. Three-dimensional US has the potential to become a valuable additional imaging tool in paediatric neurosonography.

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