Purpose: (123)I presents imaging problems owing to high-energy photon emission. We investigated the influence of collimators on (123)I-MIBG heart/mediastinum ratios (H/M ratios). Secondly, we assessed the influence on H/M ratios of different activity concentrations, simulating clinical conditions. Thirdly, the value of scatter correction was assessed.
Methods: The AGATE cardiac phantom was filled with (123)I in three sequential conditions: A, heart and mediastinal activity; B, adding lung activity; and C, adding liver activity (protocol I). In protocol II, myocardium and liver were filled with different activities ranging from low to high. For each condition, static anterior planar and single-photon emission computed tomography studies were acquired on a Siemens e.cam (SI) and a General Electric Millennium VG (GE) system, using low-energy high-resolution and medium-energy (ME) collimators for protocol I and only ME collimators for protocol II . For the SI camera, a triple energy window (TEW) scatter correction was applied.
Results: Planar H/M ratios were influenced by scatter and septal penetration from increasing amounts of liver activity. These effects were less pronounced for ME collimators. Although the TEW scatter correction increased ratios overall, TEW correction did not improve the relative differences between the ratios. TEW correction therefore does not add any benefit to obtain an accurate reflection of myocardial activity concentrations.
Conclusion: For straightforward implementation of semi-quantitative (123)I-MIBG myocardial studies, we recommend the use of ME collimators without scatter correction.