Dr. James Harmon Jr

Medical School
Twin Cities
Project Title: 
CT Measurements to Determine Nutritional Status

The surgical anatomy and clinical research group plans to measure and analyze several anatomic dimensions from CT scans to determine the potential for the use of CT scans to make specific anatomic measurements in three different anatomic areas. They use the CT database to make this measurement.

The procedure is as follows:

  1. Measure the maximum diameter and area of the psoas muscle in comparison to an associated maximum diameter of a lumbar spine vertebral body. These measurements and the related ratio of the two dimensions will help better characterize the muscle mass of patients. These values may better correlate with the patient’s nutritional status. Determining these ratios in a large number of CT scans will permit the researchers to determine the potential of using CT scan measurements to someday better determine the nutritional status in patients prior to surgery.  
  2. Measure the maximum CT dimensions of the spleen and liver comparison with the dimensions of the pelvic cavity. These dimensions and the calculated volumes may help better establish relationships between the spleen and liver the size in comparison to the size of the pelvic cavity. These relationships may help the researchers better appreciate the use of the CT scan to determine organ size in comparison to the skeletal dimensions.   
  3. Determine the length of the common bile duct and distance between the major papilla and the confluence of the common bile duct and the pancreatic duct. The distance of the common channel between the junction of the common bile duct and the pancreatic duct may be possible only be possible to measure in only selected CT scans. These measurements may help the researcher to establish the usefulness of the CT scans to measure anatomic distances related to these two structures. These distances have been proposed to correspond to the development of choledochal cysts and the presence of epithelial dysplasia within the common bile ducts.

These anatomic measurements relate to current clinically relevant issues; the researchers plan to achieve a better understanding of the potential of using CT scans to make these measurements. Variations in the observers and between observers would be calculated and analyzed to determine the potential to use the CT scans to make these measurements.

Project Investigators

Dr. James Harmon Jr
Krystina Kalland
Benjamin Kreitz
Eric Krohn
Logan Peter
Kyle Pribyl
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