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Patient motion during cardiac SPECT imaging can cause diagnostic imaging artifacts. We investigated the feasibility of monitoring patient motion using the Polaris motion-tracking system. This system uses passive infrared reflection from small spheres to provide real-time position data with vendor stated 0.35 mm accuracy and 0.2 mm repeatability. In our configuration, the Polaris system views through the SPECT gantry toward the patient's head. List-mode event data were temporally synchronized with motion-tracking data utilizing a modified LabVIEW virtual instrument that we have employed in previous optical motion-tracking investigations. Calibration of SPECT to Polaris coordinates was achieved by determining the transformation matrix necessary to align the position of four reflecting spheres as seen by Polaris, with the location of Tc-99m activity placed inside the sphere mounts as determined in SPECT reconstructions. We have successfully tracked targets placed on volunteers in simulated imaging positions on the table of our SPECT system. We obtained excellent correlation (R2>0.998) between the change in location of the targets as measured by our SPECT system and the Polaris. We have also obtained excellent agreement between the recordings of the respiratory motion of four targets attached to an elastic band wrapped around the abdomen of volunteers and from a pneumatic bellows. We used the axial motion of point sources as determined by the Polaris to correct the motion in SPECT image acquisitions yielding virtually identical point source full-width at half-maximum and full-width at tenth-maximum values, and profiled maximum heart wall counts of cardiac phantom images, compared to the reconstructions with no motion.
Date of Publication: Oct. 2004