Objectives: Both projection and dual-energy (DE)-based methods have been used for metal artifact reduction (MAR) in CT. The two methods can also be combined. The purpose of this work was to evaluate these three MAR methods using phantom experiments for five types of metal implants. Materials and Methods: Five phantoms representing spine, dental, hip, shoulder, and knee were constructed with metal implants. These phantoms were scanned using both single-energy (SE) and DE protocols with matched radiation output. The SE data were processed using a projection-based MAR (iMAR, Siemens) algorithm, while the DE data were processed to generate virtual monochromatic images at high keV (Mono+, Siemens). In addition, the DE images after iMAR were used to generate Mono+ images (DE iMAR Mono+). Artifacts were quantitatively evaluated using CT numbers at different regions of interest. Iodine contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) was evaluated in the spine phantom. Three musculoskeletal radiologists and two neuro-radiologists independently ranked the artifact reduction. Results: The DE Mono+ at high keV resulted in reduced artifacts but also lower iodine CNR. The iMAR method alone caused missing tissue artifacts in dental phantom. DE iMAR Mono+ caused wrong CT numbers in close proximity to the metal prostheses in knee and hip phantoms. All musculoskeletal radiologists ranked SE iMAR > DE iMAR Mono+ > DE Mono+ for knee and hip, while DE iMAR Mono+ > SE iMAR > DE Mono+ for shoulder. Both neuro-radiologists ranked DE iMAR Mono+ > DE Mono+ > SE iMAR for spine and DE Mono+ > DE iMAR Mono+ > SE iMAR for dental. Conclusions: The SE iMAR was the best choice for the hip and knee prostheses, while DE Mono+ at high keV was best for dental implants and DE iMAR Mono+ was best for spine and shoulder prostheses. Artifacts were also introduced by MAR algorithms.
- dual energy
- metal artifact
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging