In the world of diagnostic CT imaging, technology is always evolving—whether it’s software, accessories, configuration or hardware. The latest innovation is Smart MAR (Metal Artifact Reduction) and can be found on new GE CT Scanners. At Atlantis Worldwide, we’re always excited about new technology and know our clients are, too. Here’s what we know about Smart MAR.
It’s common knowledge that CT scan technicians can be challenged by image distortions in patients with surgical screw, dental filing, prosthetics, artificial joins and other metal implants. Metal implants are notorious for creating streaks and striations about images. This can make diagnosis and treatment difficult for even the most experienced and skilled physicians. These striations and streaks can make the view of dark spots, tumors or even healthy tissues confusing and decreases the ability to make proper diagnosis. In addition, dose calculation can be off.
Smart MAR changes all that, using a three-stage, projection-based process to reduce those streaks and striations caused by metal in a body. It reduces photon starvation, beam hardening and streak artifacts and improves the data at the project point instead of in the image itself.
GE described the process in this way:
1: Corrupted samples in the projection that correspond to the metallic objects are identified.
2: Inpainted data is generated by replacing the metal corrupted projections with the corrected data. The corrected data is generated using the forward projection of the classified image.
3: The final corrected projection is generated using a combination of the original projection data and the inpainted projection, revealing anatomic details hidden beneath the artifacts.
The MAR scan also allows patients to receive clear images in a single scan. No retakes are necessary due to metal artifacts! This reduces the amount of time the patient is in the scanner, which is beneficial to those with anxiety or claustrophobia. It also means more dose-conscious scanning.
Whether it’s GE’s Smart MAR or the same technology used by another manufacturer, this tool will radically change the process for those with metal implants when they get a CT scan. It’s also helpful to the technicians and physicians. While the technology isn’t readily available in the existing CT install base, it will become more commonplace over time.
Yes, it will be quite a while before we see any Smart MAR technology on the refurbished or used medical imaging equipment market, it is exciting news for the industry. If you have questions about Smart MAR or other radiology systems, don’t hesitate to contact the experts at Atlantis Worldwide. Contact Us Today!
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Meet the author: Vikki Harmonay