Corrections for improved quantitative accuracy in SPECT and planar scintigraphic imaging

University dissertation from Umeå : Umeå universitet

Abstract: A quantitative evaluation of single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and planar scintigraphic imaging may be valuable for both diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. For an accurate quantification it is usually necessary to correct for attenuation and scatter and in some cases also for septal penetration. For planar imaging a background correction for the contribution from over- and underlying tissues is needed. In this work a few correction methods have been evaluated and further developed. Much of the work relies on the Monte Carlo method as a tool for evaluation and optimisation.A method for quantifying the activity of I-125 labelled antibodies in a tumour inoculated in the flank of a mouse, based on planar scintigraphic imaging with a pin-hole collimator, has been developed and two different methods for background subtraction have been compared. The activity estimates of the tumours were compared with measurements in vitro.The major part of this work is attributed to SPECT. A method for attenuation and scatter correction of brain SPECT based on computed tomography (CT) images of the same patient has been developed, using an attenuation map calculated from the CT image volume. The attenuation map is utilised not only for attenuation correction, but also for scatter correction with transmission dependent convolution subtraction (TDCS). A registration method based on fiducial markers, placed on three chosen points during the SPECT examination, was evaluated.The scatter correction method, TDCS, was then optimised for regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) SPECT with Tc-99m, and was also compared with a related method, convolution scatter subtraction (CSS). TDCS has been claimed to be an iterative technique. This requires however some modifications of the method, which have been demonstrated and evaluated for a simulation with a point source.When the Monte Carlo method is used for evaluation of corrections for septal penetration, it is important that interactions in the collimator are taken into account. A new version of the Monte Carlo program SIMIND with this capability has been evaluated by comparing measured and simulated images and energy spectra. This code was later used for the evaluation of a few different methods for correction of scatter and septal penetration of I-123 brain SPECT. The methods were CSS, TDCS and a method where correction for scatter and septal penetration are included in the iterative reconstruction. This study shows that quantitative accuracy in I-123 brain SPECT benefits from separate modelling of scatter and septal penetration.