Artifacts in MR imaging after surgical intervention

J Comput Assist Tomogr. Jul-Aug 1986;10(4):596-9. doi: 10.1097/00004728-198607000-00009.


Artifacts are encountered repeatedly in magnetic resonance (MR) imaging after neurological orthopedic surgery, although there is no evidence of metallic foreign bodies on radiography and CT. Experiments demonstrated that surgical filling materials, such as bone cement and bone transplants are not the cause of the artifacts. On the other hand, we have been able to show that short-term contact between a diamond drill and untempered operating instruments can cause abrasions and set free minute metallic fragments. Those particles are missed by X-ray procedures including CT but cause MR artifacts by local disturbance of the homogeneity of the magnetic field. Therefore, MR represents a highly sensitive method to trace extremely small amounts of magnetic substances. Postsurgical MR, however, may be of limited value because of the disturbing artifacts.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Products
  • Bone Cements
  • Bone Transplantation
  • Bone and Bones / surgery
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy*
  • Minerals
  • Models, Structural
  • Orthopedics*
  • Spinal Fusion
  • Swine


  • Biological Products
  • Bone Cements
  • Minerals
  • bone meal