CT artifacts after contrast media injection in chest imaging: evaluation of post-processing algorithms, virtual monoenergetic images and their combination for artifact reduction

Gupta, Amit; Obmann, Verena Carola; Jordan, Michelle; Lennartz, Simon; Obmann, Markus Michael; Große Hokamp, Nils; Zopfs, David; Pennig, Lenhard; Fürtjes, Gina; Ramaiya, Nikhil; Gilkeson, Robert; Laukamp, Kai Roman (2021). CT artifacts after contrast media injection in chest imaging: evaluation of post-processing algorithms, virtual monoenergetic images and their combination for artifact reduction. Quantitative imaging in medicine and surgery, 11(1), pp. 226-239. AME Publishing Company 10.21037/qims-20-435

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Background: After injection into a brachial vein, high contrast media concentration in axillary and subclavian veins can cause artifacts that impair diagnostic utility. This study assessed artifact reduction by artifact-reduction-algorithms (ARA) and virtual-monoenergetic-images (VMI), as well as their combination (VMIARA) compared to conventional CT-images (CI).

Methods: Forty-six spectral-detector-CT (SDCT) examinations of patients that received ARA-reconstructions due to perivenous-artifacts were included in this retrospective study. CI, ARA, VMI, and VMIARA (range: 70-200 keV) were reconstructed. Objective analysis was performed with ROI-based assessment of mean and standard deviation of attenuation (HU) in hypo- and hyperdense artifacts and impaired muscle and arteries as well as artifact-free reference-tissue. Extent of artifact reduction, assessment of surrounding soft tissue and vessels, and appearance of new artifacts were rated visually by two radiologists.

Results: Hypo- and hyperdense artifacts showed significant improvement as evidenced by decreasing attenuation differences between artifact impaired and artifact-free reference tissue in ARA, VMI ≥80 keV, and VMIARA between 70-200 keV (e.g., CI/ARA/VMI100keV/VMIARA100keV: hypodense artifacts, (-)264.8±150.9/(-)87.1±78.9/(-)48.6±64.6/9.9±63.9 HU; P<0.001); hyperdense artifacts, 164.2±51.1/82.1±73.2/7.9±34.7/(-)17.3±50.7 HU; P<0.001). Artifacts impairing surrounding muscle and arteries were also reduced by all three approaches. In visual assessment, ARA, VMI ≥100 keV, and VMIARA between 70-200 keV also showed significant artifact reduction and improved assessment; however, for assessment of arteries improvement was not significant using ARA alone. New artifacts were reported, particularly at higher keV-values.

Conclusions: In presence of perivenous-artifacts, ARA, VMI and their combination allow for significant artifact reduction; however, their combination and VMI as a standalone approach yielded best results and should therefore be used, if available.

Keywords: X-ray computed tomography; algorithms; artifacts; contrast media; dual-energy CT; spectral-detector CT (SDCT).

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Radiology, Neuroradiology and Nuclear Medicine (DRNN) > Institute of Diagnostic, Interventional and Paediatric Radiology

UniBE Contributor:

Obmann, Verena Carola


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




AME Publishing Company




Maria de Fatima Henriques Bernardo

Date Deposited:

05 Jan 2021 16:09

Last Modified:

05 Jan 2021 16:09

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