twinkling star artefact
A descriptive term for short linear or stellate radiations that extend from pulmonary blood vessels, which have been fancifully likened to intermittently pulsating celestial bodies. They appear in non-ECG-gated thin-slice CT scans of the lungs and are an artefact caused by distortion of pulmonary vessels due to cardiac motion (see arrowheads). “Twinkling stars” help distinguish normal blood vessels from tumour masses, which may have the same CT density
Radiology September 1999 vol. 212 no. 3 649-654.