Research Article| Volume 135, ISSUE 3, P433-443, March 2023

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Quantitative and qualitative comparisons of pulp cavity volumes produced by cone beam computed tomography and micro-computed tomography through semiautomatic segmentation: An ex vivo investigation

Published:October 20, 2022DOI:


      The aim of this study was to measure the volume and visually assess 3-dimensional (3D) virtual models of pulp cavities obtained through semiautomatic segmentation on images from 6 cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) units compared with the reference standard of micro-CT.

      Study Design

      Fifteen mandibular premolar teeth were scanned with 6 CBCT units: Prexion 3D Elite, i-CAT Next Generation, NewTom 5G, Cranex 3D, 3Shape X1, and Orthophos SL 3D, using the smallest available field of view and highest resolution settings. Pulp cavity volumes were quantitatively assessed by 2 calibrated examiners. The volumes from each CBCT unit were compared with micro-CT. Qualitative assessment of the 3D reconstructions was also performed. Repeated-measures analysis of variance and the Friedman test compared the CBCT reconstructions to micro-CT. Intra- and interexaminer agreements were calculated with the intraclass correlation coefficient and kappa statistic.


      The CBCT-based volumes were all significantly larger than micro-CT (P ≤ .0061). Prexion, X1, and Orthophos provided the segmentations that most closely resembled the reference standard. Intra- and interexaminer agreements ranged from good to excellent for quantitative measurements. Interexaminer agreement for qualitative evaluation was substantial.


      Semiautomatic segmentation of CBCT images is a feasible method to produce virtual 3D models of the pulp cavity. Prexion, X1, and Orthophos were the CBCT units that resulted in 3D reconstructions most similar to the reference standard.
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