Single-Energy Metal Artifact Reduction (SEMAR) in Ultra-High-Resolution CT Angiography of Patients with Intracranial Implants

AuthorJabas, Abdullah; Abello Mercado, Mario Alberto; Altmann, Sebastian; Ringel, Florian Alexander; Booz, Christian; Kronfeld, Andrea; Sanner, Antoine P.; Brockmann, Marc Alexander; Othman, Ahmed E.
TypeJournal Article
AbstractPurpose: To evaluate the effects of single-energy metal artifact reduction (SEMAR) on image quality of ultra-high-resolution CT-angiography (UHR-CTA) with intracranial implants after aneurysm treatment. Methods: Image quality of standard and SEMAR-reconstructed UHR-CT-angiography images of 54 patients who underwent coiling or clipping was retrospectively evaluated. Image noise (i.e., index for metal-artifact strength) was analyzed in close proximity to and more distally from the metal implant. Frequencies and intensities of metal artifacts were additionally measured and intensity-differences between both reconstructions were compared in different frequencies and distances. Qualitative analysis was performed by two radiologists using a four-point Likert-scale. All measured results from both quantitative and qualitative analysis were then compared between coils and clips. Results: Metal artifact index (MAI) and the intensity of coil-artifacts were significantly lower in SEMAR than in standard CTA in close vicinity to and more distally from the coil-package (p < 0.001, each). MAI and the intensity of clip-artifacts were significantly lower in close vicinity (p = 0.036; p < 0.001, respectively) and more distally from the clip (p = 0.007; p < 0.001, respectively). In patients with coils, SEMAR was significantly superior in all qualitative categories to standard images (p < 0.001), whereas in patients with clips, only artifacts were significantly less (p < 0.05) for SEMAR. Conclusion: SEMAR significantly reduces metal artifacts in UHR-CT-angiography images with intracranial implants and improves image quality and diagnostic confidence. SEMAR effects were strongest in patients with coils, whereas the effects were minor in patients with titanium-clips due to the absent of or minimal artifacts.