Stair-step artifacts with single versus multiple detector-row helical CT

Dominik Fleischmann, Geoffrey D. Rubin, David S. Paik, Shin Y. Yen, Paul R. Hilfiker, Christopher F. Beaulieu, Sandy Napel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

96 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: To compare the effects of acquisition parameters on the magnitude and appearance of artifacts between single and multiple detector- row helical computed tomography (CT). MATERIALS AND METHODS: A cylindric (12.7 x 305.0-mm) acrylic rod inclined 45°relative to the z axis was scanned at the isocenter and 100 mm from the isocenter with single detector- row (single-channel) helical CT (beam width, 1-10 mm; pitch, 1.0, 2.0, or 3.0) and multiple detector-row (four-channel) helical CT (detector width, 1.25, 2.5, 3.75, and 5 mm; pitch, 0.75 or 1.5). The SD of radius measurements along the rod (SD(r)) was used to quantify artifacts in all 72 data sets and to analyze their frequency patterns. Volume-rendered images of the data sets were ranked by six independent and blinded readers; findings were correlated with acquisition parameters and SD(r) measurements. RESULTS: SD(r) was smaller in four- than in single-channel helical CT for any given table increment (TI). In single-channel helical CT, SD(r) increased linearly with beam width and geometrically with pitch. In four-channel helical CT, SD(r) measurements were directly proportional to the TI, regardless of the detector width and pitch combination used. Off-center object position on average increased SD(r) by a factor of 1.6 for single-channel helical CT and by a factor of 2.0 for four-channel helical CT. Subjective rankings of image quality correlated excellently with SD(r) (Spearman r = 0.94, P < .001). CONCLUSION: Artifacts are quantitatively and subjectively smaller with four- compared with single-channel helical CT for any given TI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-196
Number of pages12
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Computed tomography (CT), artifact
  • Computed tomography (CT), helical technology
  • Computed tomography (CT), three-dimensional
  • Test objects

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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