MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING (MRI) of titanium anterior cervical plating systems and their effect on postoperative images were evaluated ex vivo and in vivo. The Synthes and Caspar plating systems were examined by 0.5- or 1.5-T MRI scanners. A phantom study of these implants showed that in spin-echo modes, the plates and screws were seen as areas of signal loss accompanying a marginal hyperintense band, which was more obvious in higher tesla magnetic fields. Distortion of the magnetic field was more prominent in T2-weighted images. In gradient echo mode, the plate and screws were seen as areas of signal loss larger than the size of the metal because of the magnetic susceptibility effect. Postoperative MRI produced images of the implants similar to those observed ex vivo. The Synthes plating system did not interfere with the evaluation of the spinal cord, and the Caspar screw (which penetrated the posterior cortex of the vertebral body) caused a small artifact to be present at the anterior aspect of the spinal cord. In addition to being able to provide fixation of the cervical spine, titanium anterior cervical plates allow superior MRI of the postoperative spine.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology