Conclusion: Cochlear implantation assessment is possible using commercially available standard flat-detector computed tomography (FD-CT) protocols. Image quality is superior to multislice CT (MSCT). The radiation dose of FD-CT is lower in comparison with MSCT standard protocols and may therefore overcome the limitations of MSCT in the evaluation of cochlear implants.
Objective: FD-CT offers higher spatial resolution than MSCT. Our objective was to compare the image quality of FD-CT to conventional MSCT in the visualization of a cochlear implant electrode array with respect to radiation exposure.
Methods: An isolated temporal bone specimen was scanned using a commercially available FD-CT system and a 4 and 64 row MSCT scanner. Different scanning protocols were used. Image quality was assessed by four independent readers using a scoring system with different criteria describing delineation of the cochlea and the electrode array, image noise and spatial resolution. Radiation dose was measured using the CT dose index (CTDI) and a 16 cm acrylic phantom.
Results: Image quality was rated superior for FD-CT for all criteria by all readers. Single electrode contacts were only visible in FD-CT and assessment of implant position was improved by FD-CT. The radiation dose of FD-CT was half that of MSCT standard protocols.