Virtual Endoscopy by Computer Tomography

Improvements in CT technology have resulted in better three-dimensional imaging. Advanced computer graphics hardware and software have enabled the visualization of organs both inside and out. Virtual endoscopy (VE) is “a realistic 3D intraluminal simulation of tubular structures that is generated by post-processing of CT data sets” (Kotani et al. 2012, p. E752). Using this technology, surgeons can noninvasively explore the spinal canal in all directions. VE can provide information regarding the extent of stenosis, which plain CT cannot provide. It is useful for diagnosis, preoperative planning, and postoperative assessing.