Room: Exhibit Hall | Forum 9
Purpose: Air existence out of hollow organs in the thoracic cavity constitutes a dangerous situation most of the times. But, sometimes in Computed Tomography (CT) of the chest there are artifacts from different sources that could mimic air densities misleading diagnosis.
Methods: We performed a retrospective study of 100 patients (46 females and 54 males, mean age: 60 years, range: 20-90 years), who had been routinely scanned in the area of thorax using three different imaging protocols (follow up, aorta, pulmonary vessels). In 67 of those 100 cases contrast agent was used. Every case was studied carefully by two specialists.
Results: Artifacts in pulmonary veins were observed in 38 of the cases. Of these artifacts with air densities 27 were from the high density of the contrast agent, vesselsâ€™ calcifications, metallic implants or patientsâ€™ movements, or wrong detectorsâ€™ detection due to the size of Field of View (FOV) or due to the existence of contrast agent on the CT table. In 11 cases, small amounts of air were actually inserted into blood circulation during contrast injection. The artifacts with density of air appeared either in the form of air or in the form of lines (streak artifacts).
Conclusion: This study characterized and classified a large number of artifacts related to thorax CT in order to separate them from other serious thoracic pathologies (e.g. aortic dissection, ulcer of veins or arteries). Most of the times, the visualization of small spots with air densities represent artifacts due to contrast agent density, vesselsâ€™ calcifications, metallic implants, patientsâ€™ movements, incorrect detectorsâ€™ detection or due to the existence of contrast agent on the couch. Verification of the presence of air (as a small amount or as a pathologic situation) or existence of an artifact is very important in order to avoid misdiagnosis.