Stair-step artifacts with single versus multiple detector-row helical CT.
PURPOSE: To compare the effects of acquisition parameters on the magnitude and appearance of artifacts between single and multiple detector-row helical computed tomography (CT). MATERIALS AND METHODS: A cylindric (12.7 x 305.0-mm) acrylic rod inclined 45 degrees relative to the z axis was scanned at the isocenter and 100 mm from the isocenter with single detector-row (single-channel) helical CT (beam width, 1-10 mm; pitch, 1.0, 2.0, or 3.0) and multiple detector-row (four-channel) helical CT (detector width, 1. 25, 2.5, 3.75, and 5 mm; pitch, 0.75 or 1.5). The SD of radius measurements along the rod (SD(r)) was used to quantify artifacts in all 72 data sets and to analyze their frequency patterns. Volume-rendered images of the data sets were ranked by six independent and blinded readers; findings were correlated with acquisition parameters and SD(r) measurements. RESULTS: SD(r) was smaller in four- than in single-channel helical CT for any given table increment (TI). In single-channel helical CT, SD(r) increased linearly with beam width and geometrically with pitch. In four-channel helical CT, SD(r) measurements were directly proportional to the TI, regardless of the detector width and pitch combination used. Off-center object position on average increased SD(r) by a factor of 1.6 for single-channel helical CT and by a factor of 2.0 for four-channel helical CT. Subjective rankings of image quality correlated excellently with SD(r) (Spearman r = 0.94, P <.001). CONCLUSION: Artifacts are quantitatively and subjectively smaller with four- compared with single-channel helical CT for any given TI.
Fleischmann, D; Rubin, GD; Paik, DS; Yen, SY; Hilfiker, PR; Beaulieu, CF; Napel, S
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