BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Developments in flat panel angiographic C-arm systems have enabled visualization of both the neurovascular stents and host arteries in great detail, providing complementary spatial information in addition to conventional DSA. However, the visibility of these structures may be impeded by artifacts generated by adjacent radio-attenuating objects. We report on the use of a metal artifact reduction algorithm for high-resolution contrast-enhanced conebeam CT for follow-up imaging of stent-assisted coil embolization. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Contrast-enhanced conebeam CT data were acquired in 25 patients who underwent stent-assisted coiling. Reconstructions were generated with and without metal artifact reduction and were reviewed by 3 experienced neuroradiologists by use of a 3-point scale. RESULTS: With metal artifact reduction, the observers agreed that the visibility had improved by at least 1 point on the scoring scale in >40% of the cases (κ = 0.6) and that the streak artifact was not obscuring surrounding structures in 64% of all cases (κ = 0.6). Metal artifact reduction improved the image quality, which allowed for visibility sufficient for evaluation in 65% of the cases, and was preferred over no metal artifact reduction in 92% (κ = 0.9). Significantly higher scores were given with metal artifact reduction (P < .0001). CONCLUSIONS: Although metal artifact reduction is not capable of fully removing artifacts caused by implants with high x-ray absorption, we have shown that the image quality of contrast-enhanced conebeam CT data are improved drastically. The impact of the artifacts on the visibility varied between cases, and yet the overall visibility of the contrast-enhanced conebeam CT with metal artifact reduction improved in most the cases.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Clinical Neurology