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Patient motion can cause image artifacts in single photon emission computed tomography despite restraining measures. Data-driven detection and correction of motion can be achieved by comparison of acquired data with the forward projections. This enables the brain locations to be estimated and data to be correctly incorporated in a three-dimensional (3-D) reconstruction algorithm. Digital and physical phantom experiments were performed to explore practical aspects of this approach. Noisy simulation data modeling multiple 3-D patient head movements were constructed by projecting the digital Hoffman brain phantom at various orientations. Hoffman physical phantom data incorporating deliberate movements were also gathered. Motion correction was applied to these data using various regimes to determine the importance of attenuation and successive iterations. Studies were assessed visually for artifact reduction, and analyzed quantitatively via a mean registration error (MRE) and mean square difference measure (MSD). Artifacts and distortion in the motion corrupted data were reduced to a large extent by application of this algorithm. MRE values were mostly well within 1 pixel (4.4 mm) for the simulated data. Significant MSD improvements (>2) were common. Inclusion of attenuation was unnecessary to accurately estimate motion, doubling the efficiency and simplifying implementation. Moreover, most motion-related errors were removed using a single iteration. The improvement for the physical phantom data was smaller, though this may be due to object symmetry. In conclusion, these results provide the basis of an implementation protocol for clinical validation of the technique.
Date of Publication: June 2003