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[en] Full text: Aim: To study the influence of attenuation correction and the reconstruction technique on the detection of hypoperfused lesions in brain SPECT imaging, Material and Methods: A simulation experiment was used in which the effects of attenuation and reconstruction were decoupled, A high resolution SPECT phantom was constructed using the BrainWeb database, In this phantom, activity values were assigned to grey and white matter (ratio 4:1) and scaled to obtain counts of the same magnitude as in clinical practice, The true attenuation map was generated by assigning attenuation coefficients to each tissue class (grey and white matter, cerebral spinal fluid, skull, soft and fatty tissue and air) to create a non-uniform attenuation map, The uniform attenuation map was calculated using an attenuation coefficient of 0.15 cm-1, Hypoperfused lesions of varying intensities and sizes were added. The phantom was then projected as typical SPECT projection data, taking into account attenuation and collimator blurring with the addition of Poisson noise, The projection data was reconstructed using four different methods of reconstruction: (1) filtered backprojection (FBP) with the uniform attenuation map; (2) FBP using the true attenuation map; (3) ordered subset expectation maximization (OSEM) (equivalent to 423 iterations) with a uniform attenuation map; and (4) OSEM with a true attenuation map. Different Gaussian postsmooth kernels were applied to the reconstructed images. Results: The analysis of the reconstructed data was performed using figures of merit such as signal to noise ratio (SNR), bias and variance. The results illustrated that uniform attenuation correction offered slight deterioration (less than 2%) with regard to SNR when compared to the ideal attenuation map. which in reality is not known. The iterative techniques produced superior signal to noise ratios (increase of 5 - 20 % depending on the lesion and the postsmooth) in comparison to the FBP methods. The results also indicated that OSEM produced lower bias at the same variance. Conclusion: The study showed that uniform attenuation correction was adequate for lesion detection in the case of brain SPECT studies. In addition, iterative reconstruction techniques resulted in enhanced lesion detection when compared to filtered backprojection. (author)
[en] The possibility of a personalized medicine that is able to predict, to detect and to cure becomes more real with nuclear medicine because of its power tools for imaging and curing. For instance the combination of an X-ray radiography and a tomography based on Technetium 99m can reveal a tibia break that an X-ray radiography alone can not detect. The development of nuclear medicine is very particular because it relies on a complex economic concept that involves nuclear reactors, units of nuclear chemistry and efficient dispatching systems. This complexity and the necessity for radiation protection has so far hampered the development of nuclear medicine. (A.C.)
ObjectivesThe purpose of this study is to use ECG-gated SPECT MPI to detect the latest contracting viable left ventricular (LV) segments to help guide the LV probe placement used in CRT therapy and to validate segment selection against the visual integration method by experts.
MethodsFor each patient, the resting ECG-gated SPECT MPI short-axis images were sampled in 3D to generate a polar map of the perfusion distribution used to determine LV myocardial viability, and to measure LV synchronicity using our phase analysis tool. In the visual integration method, two experts visually interpreted the LV viability and mechanical dyssynchrony from the short-axis images and polar maps of viability and phase, to determine the latest contracting viable segments using the 17-segment model. In the automatic method, the apical segments, septal segments, and segments with more than 50% scar were excluded as these are not candidates for CRT LV probe placement. Amongst the remaining viable segments, the segments, whose phase angles were within 10° of the latest phase angle (the most delayed contracting segment), were identified for potential CRT LV probe placement and ranked based on the phase angles of the segments. Both methods were tested in 36 pre-CRT patients who underwent ECG-gated SPECT MPI. The accuracy was determined as the percent agreement between the visual integration and automatic methods. The automatic method was performed by a second independent operator to evaluate the inter-operator processing reproducibility.
ResultsIn all the 36 patients, the LV lead positions of the 1st choices recommended by the automatic and visual integration methods were in the same segments in 35 patients, which achieved an agreement rate of 97.2%. In the inter-operator reproducibility test, the LV lead positions of the 1st choices recommended by the two operators were in the same segments in 25 patients, and were in the adjacent segments in 7 patients, which achieved an overall agreement of 88.8%.
ConclusionsAn automatic method has been developed to detect the latest contracting viable LV segments to help guide the LV probe placement used in CRT therapy. The retrospective clinical study with 36 patients suggests that this method has high agreement against the visual integration method by experts and good inter-operator reproducibility. Consequently, this method is promising to be a clinical tool to recommend the CRT LV lead positions.
[en] The very nature of nuclear medicine, the visual representation of injected radiopharmaceuticals, implies imaging of dynamic processes such as the uptake and wash-out of radiotracers from body organs. For years, nuclear medicine has been touted as the modality of choice for evaluating function in health and disease. This evaluation is greatly enhanced using single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), which permits three-dimensional (3D) visualization of tracer distributions in the body. However, to fully realize the potential of the technique requires the imaging of in vivo dynamic processes of flow and metabolism. Tissue motion and deformation must also be addressed. Absolute quantification of these dynamic processes in the body has the potential to improve diagnosis. This paper presents a review of advancements toward the realization of the potential of dynamic SPECT imaging and a brief history of the development of the instrumentation. A major portion of the paper is devoted to the review of special data processing methods that have been developed for extracting kinetics from dynamic cardiac SPECT data acquired using rotating detector heads that move as radiopharmaceuticals exchange between biological compartments. Recent developments in multi-resolution spatiotemporal methods enable one to estimate kinetic parameters of compartment models of dynamic processes using data acquired from a single camera head with slow gantry rotation. The estimation of kinetic parameters directly from projection measurements improves bias and variance over the conventional method of first reconstructing 3D dynamic images, generating time-activity curves from selected regions of interest and then estimating the kinetic parameters from the generated time-activity curves. Although the potential applications of SPECT for imaging dynamic processes have not been fully realized in the clinic, it is hoped that this review illuminates the potential of SPECT for dynamic imaging, especially in light of new developments that enable measurement of dynamic processes directly from projection measurements. (topical review)