Objective: The utility of virtual endoscopy (VE) is compared to direct laryngoscopy and was also investigated with respect to accuracy of diagnosis and reproduction of images. Patients and methods: Twenty-one patients with various degrees of upper airway obstruction were examined by helical spiral CT axial images. The data was reconstructed using a VE software program. The cause of obstruction was identified and the results were compared to the direct endoscopic findings done by the otolaryngologists under G.A. Results: Virtual endoscopy evaluation of the upper airway was accurate in assessing stenosis width and length of fixed airway lesions. Correlation between direct laryngoscopy and VE was excellent with respect to the shape and contour of the stenotic segment. VE added little information in cases of laryngeal tumors and it could not illustrate any of the cases of impaired vocal fold mobility. Conclusion: Virtual endoscopy was excellent for the measurement and definition of the fixed airway lesions yet it was not as sensitive as actual endoscopy in detecting the cause of airway obstruction based on dynamic movement. © 2003, International Federation of Otorhinolaryngological Societies (IFOS). All rights reserved.
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