In-vitro MRI detectability of interbody test spacers made of carbon fibre-reinforced polymers, titanium and titanium-coated carbon fibre-reinforced polymers

Published online: Apr 27 2007

Thorsten Ernstberger, Gottfried Buchhorn, Mike Herbert Baums, Gabert Heidrich

University of Göttingen, Germany


The purpose of this study was to investigate how different materials affect the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) detectability of interbody test spacers (ITS). We evaluated the post-implantation MRI scans with T1 TSE sequences for three different ITS made of titanium, carbon fibre-reinforced polymers (CFRP) and titanium-coated CFRP, respectively. The main target variables were total artefact volume (TAV) and median artefact area (MAA). Additionally, implant volume (IV)/TAV and cross section (CS)/MAA ratio were determined. The t test and Newman-Keuls test for multiple comparisons were used for statistical analysis. TAV and MAA did not differ significantly between CFRP and titanium-coated CFRP, but were approximately twice as high for the titanium ITS (p < 0.001). MRI detectability was optimum for CFRP and titanium-coated CFRP, but was limited at the implant-bone interface of the titanium ITS. The material's susceptibility and the implant's dimensions affected MRI artefacting. Based on TAV, the volume of titanium surface coating in the ITS studied has no influence on susceptibility in MRI scans with T1 TSE sequences.