Background Metallic dental prostheses may degrade image quality on head and neck computed tomography (CT). However, there is little information available on the use of dual-energy CT (DECT) and metal artifact reduction software (MARS) in the head and neck regions to reduce metallic dental artifacts. Purpose To assess the usefulness of DECT with virtual monochromatic imaging and MARS to reduce metallic dental artifacts. Material and Methods DECT was performed using fast kilovoltage (kV)-switching between 80-kV and 140-kV in 20 patients with metallic dental prostheses. CT data were reconstructed with and without MARS, and with synthesized monochromatic energy in the range of 40-140-kiloelectron volt (keV). For quantitative analysis, the artifact index of the tongue, buccal, and parotid areas was calculated for each scan. For qualitative analysis, two radiologists evaluated 70-keV and 100-keV images with and without MARS for tongue, buccal, parotid areas, and metallic denture. The locations and characteristics of the MARS-related artifacts, if any, were also recorded. Results DECT with MARS markedly reduced metallic dental artifacts and improved image quality in the buccal area ( P < 0.001) and the tongue ( P < 0.001), but not in the parotid area. The margin and internal architecture of the metallic dentures were more clearly delineated with MARS ( P < 0.001) and in the higher-energy images than in the lower-energy images ( P = 0.042). MARS-related artifacts most commonly occurred in the deep center of the neck. Conclusion DECT with MARS can reduce metallic dental artifacts and improve delineation of the metallic prosthesis and periprosthetic region.
Keywords: Dual energy computed tomography (CT); metal artifact reduction software; metallic dental artifact; virtual monochromatic imaging.