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Magnetic Resonance Imaging Evaluation of the Spine With Metal Implants|General Safety and Superior Imaging With Titanium

Rupp, Robert, MD*; Ebraheim, Nabil A., MD*; Savolaine, Edward R., MD; Jackson, W. Thomas, MD*

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We studied the cases of 15 patients who underwent postoperative magnetic resonance imaging evaluation after being treated with metal spinal implants. Spine stabilization was required in traumatic injuries for eight patients, cancer destruction in four patients, late cervical subluxation in one patient, spondylosis in one patient, and spondylollsthesis in one patient. A variety of stainless steel and titanium spinal implants were used. The images were evaluated for spinal and implant positioning and artifact production. Both stainless steel and titenium implants were imaged safely and there was no evidence of implant migration or local tissue-heating effect. The titanium spinal implants allowed postoperative spine imaging witout the significant image distortion characteristic of the stainless steel implants. The stainless steel implants created significant artifact that impaired the usefulness of the magnetic resonance imaging evaluation.

*Departments of Orthopaedic Surgery and Toledo, Ohio.

†Radiology, Medical College of Ohio,

© Lippincott-Raven Publishers.