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Pulmonary Pseudoemboli: A New Artifact Arising From a Commercial Metal Artifact Reduction Algorithm for Computed Tomographic Image Reconstruction

Cheng, Phillip M. MD, MS; Romero, Miriam MD; Duddalwar, Vinay A. MD

Journal of Computer Assisted Tomography:
doi: 10.1097/RCT.0b013e3182aac5de
Cardiovascular & Thoracic Imaging

Abstract: Metal artifact reduction algorithms for computed tomographic (CT) image reconstruction have recently become commercially available on modern CT scanners for reducing artifacts from orthopedic hardware. However, we have observed that a commercial orthopedic metal artifact reduction algorithm can produce the appearance of artifactual pulmonary emboli when applied to spinal hardware in contrast-enhanced CT scans of the chest. We provide 4 case examples demonstrating this previously undescribed artifact.

Author Information

From the Department of Radiology, Keck School of Medicine of USC, Los Angeles, CA.

Received for publication September 14, 2013; accepted September 20, 2013.

Reprints: Phillip M. Cheng, MD, MS, University of Southern California, USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center and Hospital, 1441 Eastlake Ave, Suite 2315B, Los Angeles, CA 90033–0377 (e-mail:

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

© 2014 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins