OBJECTIVES: The aim of this ex vivo study was to assess the performance of monoenergetic dual-energy CT (DECT) reconstructions to reduce metal artefacts in bodies with orthopedic devices in comparison with standard single-energy CT (SECT) examinations in forensic imaging. Forensic and clinical impacts of this study are also discussed.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Thirty metallic implants in 20 consecutive cadavers with metallic implants underwent both SECT and DECT with a clinically suitable scanning protocol. Extrapolated monoenergetic DECT images at 64, 69, 88, 105, 120, and 130 keV and individually adjusted monoenergy for optimized image quality (OPTkeV) were generated. Image quality of the seven monoenergetic images and of the corresponding SECT image was assessed qualitatively and quantitatively by visual rating and measurements of attenuation changes induced by streak artefact.
RESULTS: Qualitative and quantitative analyses showed statistically significant differences between monoenergetic DECT extrapolated images and SECT, with improvements in diagnostic assessment in monoenergetic DECT at higher monoenergies. The mean value of OPTkeV was 137.6 ± 4.9 with a range of 130 to 148 keV.
CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates that monoenergetic DECT images extrapolated at high energy levels significantly reduce metallic artefacts from orthopedic implants and improve image quality compared to SECT examination in forensic imaging.