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10 September 2019 Assessment of metal implant induced artefacts using photon counting spectral CT
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The aim is to perform qualitative and quantitative assessment of metal induced artefacts of small titanium biomaterials using photon counting spectral CT. The energy binning feature of some photon counting detectors enables the measured spectrum to be segmented into low, mid and high energy bins in a single exposure. In this study, solid and porous titanium implants submerged in different concentrations of calcium solution were scanned using the small animal MARS photon counting spectral scanner equipped with a polyenergetic X-ray source operated at 118 kVp. Five narrow energy bins (7-45 keV, 45-55 keV, 55-65 keV, 65-75 keV and 75-118 keV) in charge summing mode were utilised. Images were evaluated in the energy domain (spectroscopic images) as well as material domain (material segmentation and quantification). Results show that calcium solution outside titanium implants can be accurately quantified. However, there was an overestimation of calcium within the pores of the scaffold. This information is critical as it can severely limit the assessment of bone ingrowth within metal structures. The energy binning feature of the spectral scanner was exploited and a correction factor, based on calcium concentrations adjacent to and within metal structures, was used to minimise the variation. Qualitative and quantitative evaluation of bone density and morphology with and without titanium screw shows that photon counting spectral CT can assess bone-metal interface with less pronounced artefacts. Quantification of bone growth in and around the implants would help in orthopaedic applications to determine the effectiveness of implant treatment and assessment of fracture healing.
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