Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) for Extremity Imaging Applications

George Tsoukatos, BPS, RT(R)*

*Medical Imaging Consultant, Radiology Support Services, Germantown, NY

Address correspondence to: George Tsoukatos, BPS, RT(R), Radiology Support Services, PO Box 215, Germantown, NY 12526. Email:

Disclosure Statement: The author reports having no significant financial or advisory relationships with corporate organizations related to this activity.

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Cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) has evolved into utilization of imaging to anatomic regions that were not typically associated with computed tomography (CT) in the past (eg, pre-surgery, dental and otolaryngology [ear-nose-throat; ENT], angiography suites, radiotherapy treatment vaults, and current evolution to musculoskeletal [MSK) imaging). CBCT has been widely used for dental, otolaryngology, and oral-maxillofacial medical imaging procedures for over 2 decades. The current clinical practice in diagnostic imaging of MSK extremity imaging employs a combination of digital radiography (DR), CT, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for diagnosis, management, and assessment of injury or pathology response to treatment strategies. Equipment that is composed of a dedicated extremity CBCT system for MSK imaging has recently been developed to provide new capabilities in weight-bearing imaging, combined with planar and volumetric imaging and improved workflow. MSK extremity imaging presents a potentially valuable extension of such CBCT platforms, motivated by the need to image weight-bearing extremities, potentially improving image quality, spatial resolution and reduced radiation dose, enhancing workflow, and simplifying site preparation considerations, as well as reducing cost compared with conventional CT. The purpose of this article is to describe CBCT of the extremity joints using a novel portable or stationary solution. The term CBCT will be used throughout to refer to dedicated units for extremity orthopedic-musculoskeletal imaging applications.

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