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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: March/April 2014 - Volume 38 - Issue 2 - p 159–162
doi: 10.1097/RCT.0b013e3182aac5de
Cardiovascular & Thoracic Imaging

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.

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.

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