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Impact of Resolution Recovery in Quantitative 99m Tc SPECT/CT Cardiac Phantom Studies.

BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to validate the quantitative accuracy of single photon emission computed tomography with computed tomography (SPECT/CT) images in cardiac phantom studies. The study was performed by assessing the effect of resolution recovery (RR) when using half-time of imaging acquisition in cardiac phantom.

METHODS: The SPECT/CT images of the anthropomorphic phantom with a cardiac insert, liver, lung, and spine were acquired using the GE Discovery (NM/CT 670) SPECT/CT system. Different concentration activity ratios for different organ (10:10:1:0, cardiac:liver:background:lung) regions were acquired by using full- and half-time protocols for 643 and 1283 voxel sizes that were reconstructed using filtered back projection (FBP) method and 3D ordered subset expectation maximization (3D-OSEM). Attenuation correction and scatter correction were applied to both reconstructions, whereas the RR only can be applied for 3D-OSEM. The data were analyzed and reported in terms of absolute recovery coefficient percentage between the cardiac insert and background activity concentration. Another parameter used to assess the quantitative accuracy for defect region was the relative error percentage.

RESULTS: The result of recovery coefficient percentage shows that the 3D-OSEM reconstruction with the RR gives the highest percentage estimation accuracy of 70% of activity recovery in the cardiac phantom wall compared with FBP (10.6%). The relative error percentage for reconstructed SPECT/CT images using 3D-OSEM reconstruction with RR shows the least error compared with FBP (21% vs. 45.1%) both in the full-and half-time acquisition of images with a larger number of matrix size used.

CONCLUSIONS: 3D-OSEM reconstruction with the RR is beneficial in giving better quantitative evaluation with a good resolution myocardial perfusion image. To accomplish this, a larger matrix size is required for 3D-OSEM reconstruction with the RR and it demonstrated an improvement in image resolution and increased quantitative accuracy of the final reconstructed SPECT/CT images.

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