Background: To evaluate whether Canon's Single-Energy Metal Artifact Reduction (SEMAR) algorithm can significantly improve subjective and objective image quality of patients with nonremovable dental hardware undergoing CT imaging of the oral cavity and oropharynx.
Materials and methods: SEMAR was reconstructed from routine Adaptive Iterative Dose Reduction (AIDR) images in 154 patients (46 females and 108 males; mean age 66.3 ± 10.5 years). Subjective SEMAR and AIDR image quality of the mouth floor, sublingual glands, lymphatic ring and overall impression were evaluated by two independent radiologists on a 6-point scale (1 = very good image quality, 6 = poor image quality) and compared to ratings of an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. Interrater agreement was assessed using the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC). Objective image analysis was performed by placing regions of interest (ROIs) on the mouth floor and measuring CT attenuation in Hounsfield units (HU) and standard deviation (SD).
Results: SEMAR significantly improved subjective image quality in all evaluated structures for all raters (p < 0.001). Furthermore, SEMAR significantly reduced objective metal artifacts and image noise (p < 0.001).
Conclusion: SEMAR significantly improved diagnostic quality of CT images of the oral cavity and oropharynx by reducing artifacts caused by dental hardware.
Keywords: Artifact reduction; CT; Dental implants; Photon starvation; Single-energy metal artifact reduction.
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