Purpose: To preoperatively evaluate anatomic variations of the bronchial arteries by obtaining three-dimensional (3D) simulations with multidetector computed tomography (CT). Materials and Methods: This study was approved by the institutional review board, and written informed consent was obtained from all participants. Seventy-three consecutive patients with esophageal cancer underwent dynamic multidetector CT. The data were used to generate 3D simulations of the thoracic cavity. These images were then used to evaluate anatomic variations of the bilateral bronchial arteries and the mediastinal course in relation to the esophagus and tracheabronchi. The preoperative CT findings were correlated with the thoracoscopic findings. Results: CT depicted 118 right bronchial and 105 left bronchial arteries. The right bronchial arteries arose from the intercostal-bronchial trunk (IBT), thoracic aorta, common trunk of both bronchial arteries (CTB), and right subclavian artery in 61, 15, 38, and four cases, respectively, whereas the left bronchial arteries arose from the thoracic aorta, IBT, and CTB in 63, four, and 38 cases, respectively. The right bronchial arteries followed preferential courses through the mediastinum, depending on the parent artery: All 61 right bronchial arteries that arose from the IBT ran along the right side of the esophagus, dorsal to the trachea-main bronchi, whereas the majority of direct-origin and CTB-type right bronchial arteries and all left bronchial arteries ran along the left side of the esophagus. During right thoracoscopy, all bronchial arteries coursing along the right side of the esophagus were identified, whereas those coursing along the left side of the esophagus were frequently out of intraoperative view. Six small right bronchial arteries that were not detected at CT were discovered during surgery. Conclusion: Three-dimensional simulation with multidetector CT yields precise preoperative information regarding the anatomy of the bronchial arteries and their variants.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging