Evaluation of three commercial metal artifact reduction methods for CT simulations in radiation therapy

Jessie Y Huang, James R Kerns, Jessica L Nute, Xinming Liu, Francesco C Stingo, David S Followill, Dragan Mirkovic, Rebecca M Howell, Stephen F Kry


Purpose: To evaluate the success of three commercial metal artifact reduction methods (MAR) in the context of radiation therapy treatment planning.

Methods: Three MAR strategies were evaluated: Philips O-MAR, monochromatic imaging using Gemstone Spectral Imaging (GSI) dual energy CT, and monochromatic imaging with metal artifact reduction software (GSI-MARs). The Gammex RMI 467 tissue characterization phantom with several metal rods and two anthropomorphic phantoms (pelvic phantom with hip prosthesis and head phantom with dental fillings), were scanned with and without metals (baseline). Each MAR method was evaluated based on CT number accuracy, metal size accuracy, and reduction in the severity of streak artifacts. CT number difference maps between the baseline and metal scan images were calculated, and the severity of streak artifacts was quantified using the percentage of pixels with > 40 HU error (“bad pixels”).

Results: Philips O-MAR generally reduced HU errors in the RMI phantom. However, increased errors and induced artifacts were observed for lung materials. GSI monochromatic 70keV images generally showed similar HU errors as conventional 120kVp imaging, while 140keV images reduced HU errors. All the imaging techniques represented the diameter of a stainless steel rod to within ±1.6mm (2 pixels). For the hip prosthesis, O-MAR reduced the average % bad pixels from 47% to 32%. For GSI 140keV imaging, the % bad pixels was reduced from 37% to 29% compared to 120kVp imaging, and GSI-MARs further reduced it to 12%. For the head phantom, none of the MAR methods was particularly successful.

Conclusion: O-MAR resulted in consistent artifact reduction but exhibited induced artifacts for metals located near lung tissue. GSI imaging at 140keV gave consistent reduction in HU errors and severity of artifacts. GSI-MARs at 140keV was the most successful MAR method for the hip prosthesis but exhibited induced artifacts at the edges of metals in some cases.


Cite this article as: Huang JY, Kerns JR, Nute JL, Liu X, Stingo FC, Followill DS, Mirkovic D, Howell RM, Kry SF. Evaluation of three commercial metal artifact reduction methods for CT simulations in radiation therapy. Int J Cancer Ther Oncol 2014; 2(2):020224. DOI: 10.14319/ijcto.0202.24

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International Journal of Cancer Therapy and Oncology (ISSN 2330-4049)

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