Differences due to collimator blurring in cardiac images with use of circular and elliptic camera orbits

J Nucl Cardiol. 2001 Jul-Aug;8(4):458-65. doi: 10.1067/mnc.2001.114235.


Background: In cardiac imaging systems, an elliptic acquisition orbit about the patient can be used to enhance resolution of single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) images by minimizing the distance between the object imaged and the rotating detector system. In this study artifacts from images acquired with the standard circular acquisition are compared with those acquired with various elliptic acquisitions.

Methods and results: With the use of elliptic camera orbits of different eccentricities, simulated projection data were generated from a slice through the left ventricle (LV). The projection data included a simulation of the degradation due to the depth-dependent response of the collimator. As is common in many clinical systems, SPECT images were reconstructed with the standard filtered backprojection algorithm without correction for the collimator response. When the ratio of the major-to-minor axis of the acquisition arc is changed from 1 (circular) to 1.5 (elliptic), reconstructed SPECT images show an additional loss of counts (about 10%) in the apical region of the LV. The severity of the apical defect is also dependent on the starting angle of the acquisition arc. When the starting angle is changed from 0 degrees (detector parallel to the major axis of the LV) to 60 degrees, the ratio between the minimum count in the apical region and the maximum count in the left ventricular myocardial wall decreases by as much as 20%.

Conclusions: SPECT image artifacts from elliptic acquisitions are significantly more severe than those from circular acquisitions. Because of the significant difference in images reconstructed from circular and elliptic acquisitions, standardized normal files acquired from circular acquisitions should not be used for comparisons with patient data acquired from elliptic acquisitions.

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Artifacts
  • Computer Simulation
  • Gamma Cameras*
  • Heart / diagnostic imaging*
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted*
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon* / instrumentation
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon* / methods