Pinhole single-photon emission tomography reconstruction based on median root prior

Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2003 Feb;30(2):217-21. doi: 10.1007/s00259-002-1015-y. Epub 2002 Nov 8.


The maximum likelihood expectation maximisation (ML-EM) algorithm can be used to reduce reconstruction artefacts produced by filtered backprojection (FBP) methods in pinhole single-photon emission tomography (SPET). However, ML-EM suffers from noise propagation along iterations, which leads to quantitatively unpleasant reconstruction results. To avoid this increase in noise, the median root prior (MRP) algorithm for pinhole SPET was implemented. Projection data of a line source and Picker's thyroid phantom were collected using a single-head gamma camera with a pinhole collimator. MRP was added to existing pinhole ML-EM reconstruction algorithm and the phantom studies were reconstructed using MRP, ML-EM and FBP for comparison. Coefficients of variation, contrasts and full-widths at half-maximum were calculated and showed a clear reduction in noise without significant loss of resolution or decrease in contrast when MRP was applied. MRP also produced visually pleasing images even with high iteration numbers, free of the checkerboard-type noise patterns which are typical of ML-EM images.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms*
  • Artifacts
  • Image Enhancement / methods*
  • Phantoms, Imaging
  • Quality Control
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Scattering, Radiation
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Stochastic Processes
  • Thyroid Gland / diagnostic imaging*
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon / instrumentation
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon / methods*