BMJ Case Reports 2013; doi:10.1136/bcr-2012-008409

Titanium plate artefact mimicking popliteal artery dissection on digital subtraction CT angiography

  1. Sophie Wienand-Barnett
  1. Department of Trauma and Orthopaedics, Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, Exeter, Devon, UK
  1. Correspondence to Timothy Woodacre, timwoodacre{at}


Titanium plates used for the internal fixation of long bone fractures cause significant artefact on CT scans but have not been reported to affect digital subtraction CT angiography. We present a patient with clinical suspicion of popliteal artery injury following a high tibial osteotomy. The osteotomy was stabilised with a titanium locking plate. During the digital subtraction process used to produce reconstruction CT angiography, removal of artefact caused by the titanium plate produced CT images mimicking the appearance of a popliteal artery dissection. The imaging inaccuracy was realised prior to the patient undergoing further intervention. We highlight the potential error caused by titanium plates on digital subtraction CT angiography and recommend careful analysis of such images prior to further treatment.

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