The aim of this study was to directly compare metal artifact reduction (MAR) of virtual monoenergetic extrapolations (VMEs) from dual-energy computed tomography (CT) with iterative MAR (iMAR) from single energy in pelvic CT with hip prostheses.
Materials and Methods
A human pelvis phantom with unilateral or bilateral metal inserts of different material (steel and titanium) was scanned with third-generation dual-source CT using single (120 kVp) and dual-energy (100/150 kVp) at similar radiation dose (CT dose index, 7.15 mGy). Three image series for each phantom configuration were reconstructed: uncorrected, VME, and iMAR. Two independent, blinded radiologists assessed image quality quantitatively (noise and attenuation) and subjectively (5-point Likert scale). Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) and Cohen κ were calculated to evaluate interreader agreements. Repeated measures analysis of variance and Friedman test were used to compare quantitative and qualitative image quality. Post hoc testing was performed using a corrected (Bonferroni) P < 0.017.
Agreements between readers were high for noise (all, ICC ≥ 0.975) and attenuation (all, ICC ≥ 0.986); agreements for qualitative assessment were good to perfect (all, κ ≥ 0.678). Compared with uncorrected images, VME showed significant noise reduction in the phantom with titanium only (P < 0.017), and iMAR showed significantly lower noise in all regions and phantom configurations (all, P < 0.017). In all phantom configurations, deviations of attenuation were smallest in images reconstructed with iMAR. For VME, there was a tendency toward higher subjective image quality in phantoms with titanium compared with uncorrected images, however, without reaching statistical significance (P > 0.017). Subjective image quality was rated significantly higher for images reconstructed with iMAR than for uncorrected images in all phantom configurations (all, P < 0.017).
Iterative MAR showed better MAR capabilities than VME in settings with bilateral hip prosthesis or unilateral steel prosthesis. In settings with unilateral hip prosthesis made of titanium, VME and iMAR performed similarly well.