Jewelry artifact

Last revised by Ashesh Ishwarlal Ranchod on 12 Jul 2023

It is common to see jewelry artifacts on imaging examinations, most commonly plain radiographs, although also on other modalities, where they can produce unhelpful artifacts that may obscure important structures and preclude confident diagnostic evaluation 1.

These include:

  • body piercings in many different anatomical locations

    • most commonly earrings

    • nose studs/rings

    • nipple rings

    • cleavage rings

    • umbilical rings

    • genital rings

    • also tongue, lips, eyebrows, chin, etc.

  • necklaces, bracelets, anklets, chains etc.

  • finger and - much more rarely - toe rings

It is therefore incumbent upon the patient to remove jewelry before an imaging examination if it is likely to create diagnostic confusion. Usually, the radiographer will request that a patient removes all jewelry before imaging is performed.

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1: nose ring
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  • Case 2: nose ring
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  • Case 3: necklace
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  • Case 4: cleavage jewelry
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  • Case 5: nipple rings
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  • Case 6: nipple bars
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  • Case 7: umbilical ring
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  • Case 8: bracelet obscuring fracture
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  • Case 9: umbilical rings on bone mineral density scan
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  • Case 10: tongue and lip piercing
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  • Case 11: plantar calcaneal spur and ankle bracelets
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  • Case 12: umbilical piercing
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  • Case 13: dental piercing
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  • Case 14: bangles
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  • Case 15: wristbands and bracelet
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  • Case 16: earrings
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  • Case 17: traditional teething beads
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  • Case 18: nape piercing
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