Application of TACT® to the evaluation of total joint arthroplasty



Three-dimensional imaging may be valuable in the evaluation of total joint arthroplasty. The partial-volume effect and streak artifacts from the metallic components of these devices limit the applicability of computed tomography (CT) to this application. Tuned-aperture computed tomography® (TACT®) is a tomographic approach that has been successfully used in other medical applications. In TACT, the acquisition geometry is inferred from the localization of fiducial markers in a series of projection images. The flexibility and robustness of TACT, as well as the fact that through an appropriate choice of reconstruction algorithms it can suppress streak artifacts, potentially makes it an appropriate approach for evaluating total joint arthroplasty. A simple computer-simulated model of a total knee replacement (TKR) was generated and used to evaluate the accuracy and artifacts associated with three-dimensional (3-D) renderings produced using TACT. A knee specimen from a cadaver that had received a TKR was used to investigate further the potential of TACT for this application. In both tests, TACT provided high-quality 3-D representations of the object. Both simple back-projection and minimum pixel back-projection were used to reconstruct the data. Minimum pixel back-projection provided high-contrast images that appeared to be relatively free of tomosynthetic artifacts. In summary, the potential of TACT in the evaluation of total joint arthroplasty was demonstrated. Future investigations will study TACT's ability to quantify the spatial relationship between the metallic components of these devices as well as TACT's ability to identify bony changes of diagnostic consequence.