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Open Access Open Badges Original research article

Evaluation of the accuracy of Cone Beam Computerized Tomography (CBCT): medical imaging technology in head and neck reconstruction

Heather Logan1*, Johan Wolfaardt1, Pierre Boulanger2, Bill Hodgetts3 and Hadi Seikaly4

Author Affiliations

1 Institute for Reconstructive Sciences in Medicine, Misericordia Community Hospital Edmonton, 1W-02, 16940-87 Avenue, Alberta, T5R 4H5, Canada

2 Department of Computing Science, University of Alberta, Athabasca Hall, Room 411, Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 2E8, Canada

3 Speech Pathology and Audiology, University of Alberta, 2-16, Corbett Hall Edmonton; 116 St. and 85 Ave, Edmonton, AB, T6G 2 G4, Canada

4 Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, 8440 - 112th Street, 1E4.34 WMC, Edmonton, AB T6G 2B7, Canada

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Journal of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery 2013, 42:25  doi:10.1186/1916-0216-42-25

Published: 21 March 2013



With the introduction, development and commercialization of Cone Beam Computerized Tomography (CBCT) technologies in the field of head and neck reconstruction, clinicians now have increased access to the technology. Given the growth of this new user group, there is an increasing concern regarding proper use, understanding, quality and patient safety.


The present study was carried out to evaluate data acquisition of CBCT medical imaging technology and the accuracy of the scanning at three different machine warming times. The study also compared the accuracy of CBCT at 0.2 mm slice thickness and Computerized Tomography (CT) at 1 mm slice thickness. A control model was CT scanned at five random intervals, at 1 mm slice thickness and CBCT scanned at specialized intervals, at 0.2 mm slice thickness. The data was then converted and imported into a software program where a digital registration procedure was used to compare the average deviations of the scanned models to the control.


The study found that there was no statistically significant difference amongst the three CBCT machine warming times. There was a statistically significant difference between CT scanning with 1 mm slice thickness and CBCT scanning with 0.2 mm slice thickness.


The accuracy of the i-CAT CBCT scans used in the present study with a parameter at voxel size 0.2, will remain consistent and reliable at any warming stage. Also the difference between the CBCT i-CAT scans and the CT scans was not clinically significant based on suggested requirements of clinicians in head and neck reconstruction.