Jewelry artifacts

Last revised by Dr Joshua Yap on 19 Jul 2022

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, eyebrow, 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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