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Effect of Overlapping Projections on Reconstruction Image Quality in Multipinhole SPECT

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3 Author(s)
Vunckx, K. ; Dept. of Nucl. Med., Katholieke Univ. Leuven, Leuven ; Suetens, P. ; Nuyts, J.

Multipinhole single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) imaging has several advantages over single pinhole SPECT imaging, including an increased sensitivity and an improved sampling. However, the quest for a good design is challenging, due to the large number of design parameters. The effect of one of these, the amount of overlap in the projection images, on the reconstruction image quality, is examined in this paper. The evaluation of the quality is based on efficient approximations for the linearized local impulse response and the covariance in a voxel, and on the bias of the reconstruction of the noiseless projection data. Two methods are proposed that remove the overlap in the projection image by blocking certain projection rays with the use of extra shielding between the pinhole plate and the detector. Also two measures to quantify the amount of overlap are suggested. First, the approximate method, predicting the contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR), is validated using postsmoothed maximum likelihood expectation maximization (MLEM) reconstructions with an imposed target resolution. Second, designs with different amounts of overlap are evaluated to study the effect of multiplexing. In addition, the CNR of each pinhole design is also compared with that of the same design where overlap is removed. Third, the results are interpreted with the overlap quantification measures. Fourth, the two proposed overlap removal methods are compared. From the results we can conclude that, once the complete detector area has been used, the extra sensitivity due to multiplexing is only able to compensate for the loss of information, not to improve the CNR. Removing the overlap, however, improves the CNR. The gain is most prominent in the central field of view, though often at the cost of the CNR of some voxels at the edges, since after overlap removal very little information is left for their reconstruction. The reconstruction images provide insight in the multiplexing and trunca- ion artifacts.

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Medical Imaging, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:27 ,  Issue: 7 )