Current and Novel Techniques for Metal Artifact Reduction at CT: Practical Guide for Radiologists

Radiographics. 2018 Mar-Apr;38(2):450-461. doi: 10.1148/rg.2018170102.


Artifacts caused by metallic implants appear as dark and bright streaks at computed tomography (CT), which severely degrade the image quality and decrease the diagnostic value of the examination. When x-rays pass through a metal object, depending on its size and composition, different physical effects negatively affect the measurements in the detector, most notably the effects of photon starvation and beam hardening. To improve image quality and recover information about underlying structures, several artifact reduction methods have been introduced in modern CT systems. Projection-based metal artifact reduction (MAR) algorithms act in projection space and replace corrupted projections caused by metal with interpolation from neighboring uncorrupted projections. MAR algorithms primarily suppress artifacts that are due to photon starvation. The dual-energy CT technique is characterized by data acquisition at two different energy spectra. Dual-energy CT provides synthesized virtual monochromatic images at different photon energy (kiloelectron volt) levels, and virtual monochromatic images obtained at high kiloelectron volt levels are known to reduce the effects of beam hardening. In clinical practice, although MAR algorithms can be applied after image acquisition, the decision whether to apply dual-energy CT for the patient usually needs to be made before image acquisition. Radiologists should be more familiar with the clinical and technical features of each method and should be able to choose the optimal method according to the clinical situation. ©RSNA, 2018.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Artifacts*
  • Humans
  • Metals*
  • Prostheses and Implants*
  • Radiographic Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*


  • Metals