Jarle Sundseth, Eva A. Jacobsen, Frode Kolstad, Oystein P. Nygaard, John A. Zwart, Per K. Hol

October 2013, Volume 22, Issue 10, pp 2296 - 2302 Original Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-013-2994-z

First Online: 06 September 2013


Cervical disc prostheses induce significant amount of artifact in magnetic resonance imaging which may complicate radiologic follow-up after surgery. The purpose of this study was to investigate as to what extent the artifact, induced by the frequently used Discover® cervical disc prosthesis, impedes interpretation of the MR images at operated and adjacent levels in 1.5 and 3 Tesla MR.


Ten subsequent patients were investigated in both 1.5 and 3 Tesla MR with standard image sequences one year following anterior cervical discectomy with arthroplasty.

Outcome measures

Two neuroradiologists evaluated the images by consensus. Emphasis was made on signal changes in medulla at all levels and visualization of root canals at operated and adjacent levels. A “blur artifact ratio” was calculated and defined as the height of the artifact on T1 sagittal images related to the operated level.


The artifacts induced in 1.5 and 3 Tesla MR were of entirely different character and evaluation of the spinal cord at operated level was impossible in both magnets. Artifacts also made the root canals difficult to assess at operated level and more pronounced in the 3 Tesla MR. At the adjacent levels however, the spinal cord and root canals were completely visualized in all patients. The “blur artifact” induced at operated level was also more pronounced in the 3 Tesla MR.


The artifact induced by the Discover® titanium disc prosthesis in both 1.5 and 3 Tesla MR, makes interpretation of the spinal cord impossible and visualization of the root canals difficult at operated level. Adjusting the MR sequences to produce the least amount of artifact is important.

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