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A new pixelated detector for high-resolution clinical SPECT applications was designed and tested. The modular detector is based on a scintillator block comprised of 2.75 × 2.75 × 10 mm3 NaI(Tl) pixels and decoded by an array of 51 mm diameter single-anode PMTs. Several configurations, utilizing two types of PMTs, were evaluated using a collimated beam source to measure positioning accuracy directly. Good pixel separation was observed, with correct pixel identification ranging from 60 to 72% averaged over the entire area of the modules, depending on the PMT type and configuration. This translates to a significant improvement in positioning accuracy compared to continuous slab detectors of the same thickness, along with effective reduction of “dead” space at the edges. The observed 10% average energy resolution compares well to continuous slab detectors. The combined performance demonstrates the suitability of pixelated detectors decoded with a relatively small number of medium-sized PMTs as a cost-effective approach for high resolution clinical SPECT applications, in particular those involving curved detector geometries.
Note: The Editorial leadership of the IEEE Trans. on Nuclear Science have authorized the retroactive addition of Hamid Sabet (Member IEEE) as the third author of this article. The metadata record has been updated accordingly but the original article PDF remains unchanged.