Reduction of Metal Artifacts and Improvement in Dose Efficiency Using Photon-Counting Detector Computed Tomography and Tin Filtration

Wei Zhou, David J. Bartlett, Felix E. Diehn, Katrina N. Glazebrook, Amy L. Kotsenas, Rickey E. Carter, Joel G. Fletcher, Cynthia H. McCollough, Shuai Leng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Objectives The aim of this study was to investigate the impact on metal artifacts and dose efficiency of using a tin filter in combination with high-energy threshold (TH) images of a photon-counting detector (PCD) computed tomography (CT) system. Materials and Methods A 3D-printed spine with pedicle screws was scanned on a PCD-CT system with and without tin filtration. Image noise and severity of artifacts were measured for low-energy threshold (TL) and TH images. In a prospective, institutional review board-approved, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act-compliant study, 20 patients having a clinical energy-integrating detector (EID) CT were scanned on a PCD-CT system using tin filtration. Images were reviewed by 3 radiologists to evaluate visualization of anatomic structures, diagnostic confidence, and image preference. Artifact severity and image noise were measured. Wilcoxon signed rank was used to test differences between PCD-CT TH and EID-CT images. Results Phantom TH images with tin filtration reduced metal artifacts and had comparable noise (32 HU) to TL images (29 HU) acquired without tin filtration. Visualization scores for the cortex, trabeculae, and implant-trabecular interface from PCD-CT TH images (4.4 ± 0.9, 4.4 ± 1.0, and 4.4 ± 1.0) were significantly higher (P < 0.0001) than EID-CT images (3.3 ± 1.3, 3.3 ± 1.2, and 3.3 ± 1.6). A strong preference was shown for PCD-CT TH images due to improved diagnostic confidence and decreased artifact severity. Noise in PCD-CT TH images (93 ± 41 HU) was significantly lower than that in EID-CT images (133 ± 92 HU, P < 0.05). Conclusions Threshold high images acquired with tin filtration on PCD-CT demonstrated a substantial decrease in metal artifacts and an increase in dose efficiency compared with EID-CT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)204-211
Number of pages8
JournalInvestigative radiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2019


  • CT
  • metal artifact reduction
  • photon-counting detector
  • tin filtration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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