Reduction of Metal Artifact with Dual-Energy CT: Virtual Monospectral Imaging with Fast Kilovoltage Switching and Metal Artifact Reduction Software

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Imaging of patients with metal implants is a common activity for radiologists, and overcoming metal artifacts during computed tomography (CT) is still a challenge. Virtual monochromatic spectral (VMS) imaging with dual-energy CT has been reported to reduce beam-hardening metal artifact effectively. Dual-energy CT allows the synthesis of VMS images. Monochromatic images depict how the imaged object would look if the X-ray source produced X-ray photons at only a single-energy level. For this reason, VMS imaging improve image quality by reducing beam-hardening artifacts. Additional metal artifact reduction postprocessing such as metal artifact reduction software can be applied to improve the visualization of the bone-prosthesis interface, periprosthetic areas, and soft tissue near and far from the metal implant. This article summarizes how virtual monochromatic images are synthesized from dual-energy CT, and it describes and illustrates our clinical experience with a single-source dual-energy scanner with fast kilovoltage switching to reduce beam hardening in patients with metal implants.

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