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Implant detectibility of intervertebral disc spacers in post fusion MRI: evaluation of the MRI scan quality by using a scoring system--an in vitro study

Implant detectibility of intervertebral disc spacers in post fusion MRI: evaluation of the MRI scan quality by using a scoring system--an in vitro study

Neuroradiology 49(2): 103-109

Intervertebral spacers for anterior spine fusion are made of different materials, such as titanium and cobalt chromium alloys and carbon fiber-reinforced polymers. Implant-related susceptibility artifacts can decrease the quality of MRI scans. The aim of this cadaveric study was to demonstrate the extent that implant-related MRI artifacting affects the postfusion differentiation of determined regions of interest (ROIs). In six cadaveric porcine spines, we evaluated the postimplantation MRI scans of a titanium, cobalt-chromium and carbon spacer that differed in shape and surface qualities. A spacer made of human cortical bone was used as a control. A defined evaluation unit was divided into ROIs to characterize the spinal canal as well as the intervertebral disc space. Considering 15 different MRI sequences read independently by an interobserver-validated team of specialists the artifact-affected image quality of the median MRI slice was rated on a score of 0-3. A maximum score of 18 points (100%) for the determined ROIs was possible. Turbo spin echo sequences produced the best scores for all spacers and the control. Only the control achieved a score of 100%. For the determined ROI maximum scores for the cobalt-chromium, titanium and carbon spacers were 24%, 32% and 84%, respectively. By using favored T1 TSE sequences the carbon spacer showed a clear advantage in postfusion spinal imaging. Independent of artifact dimensions, the scoring system used allowed us to create an implant-related ranking of MRI scan quality in reference to the bone control.

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Accession: 049299571

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PMID: 17086407

DOI: 10.1007/s00234-006-0161-5

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