Motion artifact

Last revised by Andrew Murphy on 30 Mar 2020

Motion artifact is a patient-based artifact that occurs with voluntary or involuntary patient movement during image acquisition.

Misregistration artifacts, which appear as blurring, streaking, or shading, are caused by patient movement during a CT scan. Blurring also occurs with patient movement during radiographic examinations.

If patient movement is voluntary, patients may require immobilization or sedation to prevent this.

Involuntary motion, such as respiration or cardiac motion, may cause artifacts that mimic pathology in surrounding structures. Techniques, such as cardiac gating, may be used for examinations that concern the mediastinum.

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: CT brain with severe motion artifact
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  • Figure 2: CT brain with severe motion artifact
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  • Figure 3: Motion artifact
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