The study aimed to assess image quality when using dual-energy CT (DECT) to reduce metal artifacts in subjects with knee and hip prostheses.
Twenty-two knee and 10 hip prostheses were examined in 31 patients using a DECT protocol (tube voltages 100 and 140 kVp). Monoenergetic reconstructions were extrapolated at 64, 69, 88, 105, 110, 120, 140, 170, and 190 kilo-electron volts (keV) and the optimal energy was manually selected. The B60-140 and Fast DE reconstructions were made by CT. The image quality and diagnostic value were subjectively and objectively determined. Double-blind qualitative assessment was performed by two radiologists using a Likert scale. For quantitative analysis, a circular region of interest (ROI) was placed by a third radiologist within the most evident streak artifacts on every image. Another ROI was placed in surrounding tissues without artifacts as a reference.
The inter-reader agreement for the qualitative assessment was nearly 100%. The best overall image quality (37.8% rated "excellent") was the Fast DE Siemens reconstruction, followed by B60-140 and Opt KeV (20.5 and 10.2% rated excellent). On the other hand, DECT images at 64, 69 and 88 keV had the worse scores. The number of artifacts was significantly different between monoenergetic images. Nevertheless, because of the high number of pairwise comparisons, no differences were found in the post hoc analysis except for a trend toward statistical significance when comparing the 170 and 64 keV doses.
DECT with specific post-processing may reduce metal artifacts and significantly enhance the image quality and diagnostic value when evaluating metallic implants
- Beam hardening
- Hip metallic prostheses