Known-component metal artifact reduction (KC-MAR) for cone-beam CT

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Intraoperative cone-beam CT (CBCT) is increasingly used for surgical navigation and validation of device placement. In spinal deformity correction, CBCT provides visualization of pedicle screws and fixation rods in relation to adjacent anatomy. This work reports and evaluates a method that uses prior information regarding such surgical instrumentation for improved metal artifact reduction (MAR). The known-component MAR (KC-MAR) approach achieves precise localization of instrumentation in projection images using rigid or deformable 3D-2D registration of component models, thereby overcoming residual errors associated with segmentation-based methods. Projection data containing metal components are processed via 2D inpainting of the detector signal, followed by 3D filtered back-projection (FBP). Phantom studies were performed to identify nominal algorithm parameters and quantitatively investigate performance over a range of component material composition and size. A cadaver study emulating screw and rod placement in spinal deformity correction was conducted to evaluate performance under realistic clinical imaging conditions. KC-MAR demonstrated reduction in artifacts (standard deviation in voxel values) across a range of component types and dose levels, reducing the artifact to 5-10 HU. Accurate component delineation was demonstrated for rigid (screw) and deformable (rod) models with sub-mm registration errors, and a single-pixel dilation of the projected components was found to compensate for partial-volume effects. Artifacts associated with spine screws and rods were reduced by 40%-80% in cadaver studies, and the resulting images demonstrated markedly improved visualization of instrumentation (e.g. screw threads) within cortical margins. The KC-MAR algorithm combines knowledge of surgical instrumentation with 3D image reconstruction in a manner that overcomes potential pitfalls of segmentation. The approach is compatible with FBP - thereby maintaining simplicity in a manner that is consistent with surgical workflow - or more sophisticated model-based reconstruction methods that could further improve image quality and/or help reduce radiation dose.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number165021
JournalPhysics in medicine and biology
Issue number16
StatePublished - Aug 21 2019


  • 3D-2D registration
  • cone-beam CT
  • image-guided surgery
  • metal artifact reduction
  • spine surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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