CT data are recorded in the axial plane as image slices composed of small boxes of tissue called voxels. These volume elements can be made equivalent in size in three orthogonal axes (isotropic voxels) permitting the axial data to be reconstructed in multiple planes by computer software (e.g. sagittal and coronal reformatted images). Advances in modern software permit reconstruction in nonorthogonal (oblique) planes and curved planes as well. Three-dimensional rendering techniques permit a model of the spine to be created to facilitate understanding of complex three-dimensional anatomy. Contrast agents may be injected into the thecal sac to enhance visualization of the spinal cord and nerve roots or intravenously to permit visualization of vascular structures. (Fig. 12-1)
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