Effects of orthodontic appliances on the diagnostic quality of magnetic resonance images of the head

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Abstract

Introduction:

The influence of 4 commonly used fixed orthodontic appliances on artifact formation and diagnostic quality of magnetic resonance (MR) images of the head produced by a 3-T MR scanner was studied.

Methods:

Stainless steel brackets, ceramic brackets, combination of ceramic brackets and steel molar tubes, and multistranded steel mandibular lingual retainers were embedded into custom-made trays for each of 10 adult subjects. Head MR scans of 9 regions were acquired for each subject wearing these trays. Sagittal T1-weighted, axial T2-weighted, axial gradient-recalled, axial diffusion-weighted, noncontrast axial MR angiography, and axial fluid-attenuated inversion recovery MR sequences were included. Two neuroradiologists evaluated image distortions and diagnostic qualities of the 1314 acquired images (13860 image slices).

Results:

The images were affected by appliance, head region, and MR sequence. Stainless steel brackets and molar tubes affected the images the most, and ceramic brackets caused minimal image distortion.

Conclusions:

Head MR images are differentially affected by orthodontic appliances. The appliance, region imaged, and MR sequence should be considered before imaging patients wearing fixed orthodontic appliances.

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