Physics of Medical Imaging

Complementary contrast media for metal artifact reduction in dual-energy computed tomography

[+] Author Affiliations
Jack W. Lambert, Benjamin M. Yeh

University of California, Department of Radiology & Biomedical Imaging, 505 Parnassus Avenue, San Francisco, California 94143, United States

Peter M. Edic, Paul F. FitzGerald, Andrew S. Torres

GE Global Research, 1 Research Circle, Niskayuna, New York 12309, United States

J. Med. Imag. 2(3), 033503 (Sep 21, 2015). doi:10.1117/1.JMI.2.3.033503
History: Received March 2, 2015; Accepted August 13, 2015
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Abstract.  Metal artifacts have been a problem associated with computed tomography (CT) since its introduction. Recent techniques to mitigate this problem have included utilization of high-energy (keV) virtual monochromatic spectral (VMS) images, produced via dual-energy CT (DECT). A problem with these high-keV images is that contrast enhancement provided by all commercially available contrast media is severely reduced. Contrast agents based on higher atomic number elements can maintain contrast at the higher energy levels where artifacts are reduced. This study evaluated three such candidate elements: bismuth, tantalum, and tungsten, as well as two conventional contrast elements: iodine and barium. A water-based phantom with vials containing these five elements in solution, as well as different artifact-producing metal structures, was scanned with a DECT scanner capable of rapid operating voltage switching. In the VMS datasets, substantial reductions in the contrast were observed for iodine and barium, which suffered from contrast reductions of 97% and 91%, respectively, at 140 versus 40 keV. In comparison under the same conditions, the candidate agents demonstrated contrast enhancement reductions of only 20%, 29%, and 32% for tungsten, tantalum, and bismuth, respectively. At 140 versus 40 keV, metal artifact severity was reduced by 57% to 85% depending on the phantom configuration.

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© 2015 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers

Citation

Jack W. Lambert ; Peter M. Edic ; Paul F. FitzGerald ; Andrew S. Torres and Benjamin M. Yeh
"Complementary contrast media for metal artifact reduction in dual-energy computed tomography", J. Med. Imag. 2(3), 033503 (Sep 21, 2015). ; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/1.JMI.2.3.033503


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