Skip to main content

Free Content Understanding and Mitigating Unexpected Artifacts in Head CTs: A Practical Experience

CT artifacts may seriously degrade image quality by obscuring or mimicking pathology, and thus be the source of erroneous diagnosis. It is imperative for the neuroradiologist to understand why artifacts occur and how they can be prevented or suppressed. This review presents a potpourri of common as well as rarely mentioned artifacts borne out of clinical experience in a multifaceted academic neuroradiology practice. The root causes of these artifacts are classified into scanner limitation, technologist practice, and protocol implementation. The discussion of each artifact unfolds in a 3-step format: clinical setting, understanding, and mitigation. Considerations of both proper technique and technique failure within a pragmatic framework of applied clinical practice are essential for recognition and avoidance of such artifacts.

Learning Objective: To recognize clinically relevant artifacts that may interfere with head CT interpretation, understand their origin, and identify best practices for their mitigation.

Keywords: CT = computed tomography; CTA = CT angiography; MCA = middle cerebral artery

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2016

  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content