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Improved Regional Activity Quantitation in Nuclear Medicine Using a New Approach to Correct for Tissue Partial Volume and Spillover Effects

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6 Author(s)
Moore, S.C. ; Med. Sch., Dept. of Radiol., Harvard Univ., Boston, MA, USA ; Southekal, S. ; Mi-Ae Park ; McQuaid, S.J.
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We have developed a neσw method of compensating for effects of partial volume and spillover in dual-modality imaging. The approach requires segmentation of just a few tissue types within a small volume-of-interest (VOI) surrounding a lesion; the algorithm estimates simultaneously, from projection data, the activity concentration within each segmented tissue inside the VOI. Measured emission projections were fitted to the sum of resolution-blurred projections of each such tissue, scaled by its unknown activity concentration, plus a global background contribution obtained by reprojection through the reconstructed image volume outside the VOI. The method was evaluated using multiple-pinhole μSPECT data simulated for the MOBY mouse phantom containing two spherical lung tumors and one liver tumor, as well as using multiple-bead phantom data acquired on μSPECT and μCT scanners. Each VOI in the simulation study was 4.8 mm (12 voxels) cubed and, depending on location, contained up to four tissues (tumor, liver, heart, lung) with different values of relative 99mTc concentration. All tumor activity estimates achieved <; 3% bias after ~ 15 ordered-subsets expectation maximization (OSEM) iterations (×10 subsets), with better than 8% precision (≤ 25% greater than the Cramer-Rao lowσer bound). The projection-based fitting approach also outperformed three standardized uptake value (SUV)-like metrics, one of which was corrected for count spillover. In the bead phantom experiment, the mean ± standard deviation of the bias of VOI estimates of bead concentration were 0.9±9.5%, comparable to those of a perturbation geometric transfer matrix (pGTM) approach (-5.4±8.6%); however, VOI estimates were more stable with increasing iteration number than pGTM estimates, even in the presence of substantial axial misalignment between μCT and μSPECT image volumes.

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Medical Imaging, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:31 ,  Issue: 2 )