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Slit-Slat Collimator Equipped Gamma Camera for Whole-Mouse SPECT-CT Imaging

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2 Author(s)
Liji Cao ; Div. Medical Physics in Radiology, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg, Germany ; Jörg Peter

A slit-slat collimator is developed for a gamma camera intended for small-animal imaging (mice). The tungsten housing of a roof-shaped collimator forms a slit opening, and the slats are made of lead foils separated by sparse polyurethane material. Alignment of the collimator with the camera's pixelated crystal is performed by adjusting a micrometer screw while monitoring a Co-57 point source for maximum signal intensity. For SPECT, the collimator forms a cylindrical field-of-view enabling whole mouse imaging with transaxial magnification and constant on-axis sensitivity over the entire axial direction. As the gamma camera is part of a multimodal imaging system incorporating also x-ray CT, five parameters corresponding to the geometric displacements of the collimator as well as to the mechanical co-alignment between the gamma camera and the CT subsystem are estimated by means of bimodal calibration sources. To illustrate the performance of the slit-slat collimator and to compare its performance to a single pinhole collimator, a Derenzo phantom study is performed. Transaxial resolution along the entire long axis is comparable to a pinhole collimator of same pinhole diameter. Axial resolution of the slit-slat collimator is comparable to that of a parallel beam collimator. Additionally, data from an in-vivo mouse study are presented.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Nuclear Science  (Volume:59 ,  Issue: 3 )