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Ideal-observer analysis of lesion detectability in planar, conventional SPECT, and dedicated SPECT scintimammography using effective multi-dimensional smoothing

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3 Author(s)
P. J. La Riviere ; Dept. of Radiol., Chicago Univ., IL, USA ; X. Pan ; B. C. Penney

Scintimammography, a nuclear-medicine imaging technique that relies on the preferential uptake of Tc-99m-sestamibi and other radionuclides in breast malignancies, has the potential to provide differentiation of mammographically suspicious lesions, as well as outright detection of malignancies in women with radiographically dense breasts. In this work we use the ideal-observer framework to quantify the detectability of a 1-cm lesion using three different imaging geometries: the planar technique that is the current clinical standard, conventional single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), in which the scintillation cameras rotate around the entire torso, and dedicated breast SPECT, in which the cameras rotate around the breast alone. We also introduce an adaptive smoothing technique for the processing of planar images and of sinograms that exploits Fourier transforms to achieve effective multidimensional smoothing at a reasonable computational cost. For the detection of a 1-cm lesion with a clinically typical 6:1 tumor-background ratio, we find ideal-observer signal-to-noise ratios (SNR) that suggest that the dedicated breast SPECT geometry is the most effective of the three, and that the adaptive, two-dimensional smoothing technique should enhance lesion detectability in the tomographic reconstructions

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Nuclear Science  (Volume:45 ,  Issue: 3 )