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Open Access Research article

Multidetector-row computed tomography for evaluating the branching angle of the celiac artery: a descriptive study

Hiroyuki Tokue12*, Azusa Tokue1 and Yoshito Tsushima1

Author affiliations

1 Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, Gunma University Hospital, 3-39-22 Showa-machi, Maebashi, Gunma, 371-8511, Japan

2 Department of Radiology, Maebashi Red Cross Hospital, Maebashi, Gunma, Japan

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Citation and License

BMC Medical Imaging 2012, 12:36  doi:10.1186/1471-2342-12-36

Published: 21 December 2012

Abstract

Background

We performed this study in order to investigate the shape of the origin of the celiac artery in maximum intensity projection (MIP) using routine 64 multidetector-row computed tomography (MDCT) data in order to plan for the implantation of an intra-arterial hepatic port system.

Methods

A total of 1,104 patients with hepatocellular carcinoma were assessed with MDCT. In the definition of the branching angle, the anterior side of the abdominal aorta was considered the baseline, and the cranial and caudal sides were designated as 0 and 180 degrees, respectively. The angles between 0 and 90 degrees and between 90 and 180 degrees from the cranial side were considered upward and downward, respectively, and the branching angle of the celiac artery was classified every 30 degrees. The subclavian arterial route was used for the implantation of an intra-arterial hepatic port system in patients with branching angles of 150 degrees or more (sharp downward).

Results

The median branching angle was (median ± standard deviation) 135 ± 23 (range, 51–174) degrees. The branching was upward in 77 patients (7%) and downward in 1,027 patients (93%). The branching was downward with an angle of 120 to150 degrees in most patients (n = 613). The branching was sharply downward with an angle of 150 degrees or more in 177 patients (16%). A total of 10 patients were referred for interventional placement of an intra-arterial hepatic port system. The subclavian arterial route was used for implantation of an intra-arterial hepatic port system in 2 patients with sharp downward branching.

Conclusions

The branching angle of the celiac artery can be easily determined by the preparation of MIP images from routine MDCT data. MIP may provide useful information for the selection of the catheter insertion route in order to avoid a sharp branching angle of the celiac artery.

Keywords:
Multidetector-row computed tomography; Maximum intensity projection; Celiac artery; Branching angle; Intra-arterial hepatic port system