Metal artifact reduction in CT: Benefit in evaluating SI joint fusion? (Selles - Eur J Radiol 2022)
Metal artifact reduction in computed tomography: Is it of benefit in evaluating sacroiliac joint fusion?
Purpose: The aim of this study was to compare image quality of computed tomography (CT) images with and without orthopedic metal artifact reduction (O-MAR) in the follow-up of patients after sacroiliac (SI) joint fusion.
Methods: Thirty-six consecutive patients (31 females and 5 males) undergoing CT within 24 h after SI joint fusion were included. CT images were reconstructed with and without O-MAR and scored by two radiologists with over 20 years of experience using a six-point ordinal scale. Images were scored on overall image quality and five criteria that are important to the clinician for the follow-up of patients after SI joint fusion. In addition, images were scored on how well four bony structures could be delineated. Wilcoxon signed-ranks tests with Holm-Bonferroni correction were used to test for differences between the radiologists' scores on CT images with and without O-MAR.
Results: Both radiologists scored overall image quality significantly higher (p < 0.05) on the images without O-MAR than on the images with O-MAR. In addition, two of the follow-up criteria, delineation of the sacrum and delineation of the implanted ilium were scored significantly higher (p < 0.05) on the images without O-MAR. Neither radiologist scored the images with O-MAR significantly higher than the images without O-MAR for any of the criteria.
Conclusion: CT imaging without O-MAR provided higher image quality and better assessment of SI joint fusion follow-up criteria compared to CT imaging with O-MAR in the follow-up of patients after SI joint fusion.
Keywords: CT; Lower back pain; Metal artifacts; Sacroiliac joint fusion; Sacroiliac joint pain.