Original article| Volume 33, ISSUE 5, P384-389, September 2009

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Initial experience with visualizing hand and foot tendons by dual-energy computed tomography

Published:February 23, 2009DOI:



      To assess the feasibility of visualizing hand and foot tendons by dual-energy computed tomography (CT).

      Methods and materials

      Twenty patients who suffered from hand or feet pains were scanned on dual-source CT (Definition, Forchheim, Germany) with dual-energy mode at tube voltages of 140 and 80 kV and a corresponding ratio of 1:4 between tube currents. The reconstructed images were postprocessed by volume rendering techniques (VRT) and multiplanar reconstruction (MPR). All of the suspected lesions were confirmed by surgery or follow-up studies.


      Twelve patients (total of 24 hands and feet, respectively) were found to be normal and the other eight patients (total of nine hands and feet, respectively) were found abnormal. Dual-energy techniques are very useful in visualizing tendons of the hands and feet, such as flexor pollicis longus tendon, flexor digitorum superficialis/profundus tendon, Achilles tendon, extensor hallucis longus tendon, and extensor digitorum longus tendon, etc. It can depict the whole shape of the tendons and their fixation points clearly. Peroneus longus tendon in the sole of the foot was not displayed very well. The distal ends of metacarpophalangeal joints with extensor digitoium tendon and extensor pollicis longus tendon were poorly shown. The lesions of tendons such as the circuitry, thickening, and adherence were also shown clearly.


      Dual-energy CT offers a new method to visualize tendons of the hand and foot. It could clearly display both anatomical structures and pathologic changes of hand and foot tendons.


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