Comparative study of software techniques for 3D mapping of perforators in deep inferior epigastric artery perforator flap planning

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Background: Computed tomographic (CT) angiography (CTA) is widely considered the gold standard imaging modality for preoperative planning autologous breast reconstruction with deep inferior epigastric artery (DIEA) perforator (DIEP) flap. Improved anatomical understanding from CTA has translated to enhanced clinical outcomes. To achieve this, the use of appropriate CT hardware and software is vital. Various CT scanners and contrast materials have been demonstrated to consistently produce adequate scan data. However, the availability of affordable and easily accessible imaging software capable of generating 3D volume-rendered perforator images to clinically useful quality has been lacking. Osirix (Pixmeo, Geneva, Switzerland) is a free, readily available medical image processing software that shows promise. We have previously demonstrated in a case report the usefulness of Osirix in localizing perforators and their course. Methods: In the current case series of 50 consecutive CTA scans, we compare the accuracy of Osirix to a commonly used proprietary 3D imaging software, Siemens Syngo InSpace 4D (Siemens, Erlangen, Germany), in identifying perforator number and location. Moreover, we compared both programs to intraoperative findings. Results: We report a high rate of concordance with Osirix and Siemens Syngo InSpace 4D (99.6%). Both programs correlated closely with operative findings (92.2%). Most of the discrepancies were found in the lateral row perforators (90%). Conclusions: In the current study, we report the accuracy of Osirix that is comparable to Siemens Syngo InSpace 4D, a proprietary software, in mapping perforators. However, it provides an added advantage of being free, easy-to-use, portable, and potentially a superior quality of 3D reconstructed image.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-106
Number of pages8
JournalGland Surgery
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2016


  • Accuracy
  • Computed tomographic angiography (CTA)
  • Osirix
  • Perforator imaging
  • Siemens

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