Purpose: The segmentation algorithm ESM based on an elastic surface model was validated for the assessment of left ventricular volumes and ejection fraction from ECG-gated myocardial perfusion SPECT. Additionally, it was compared with the commercially available quantification packages 4D-MSPECT and QGS. Cardiac MRI was used as the reference method.
Methods: SPECT and MRI were performed on 70 consecutive patients with suspected or proven coronary artery disease. End-diastolic (EDV) and end-systolic (ESV) volumes and left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) were derived from SPECT studies by using the segmentation algorithms ESM, 4D-MSPECT and QGS and from cardiac MRI.
Results: ESM-derived values for EDV and ESV correlated well with those from cardiac MRI (correlation coefficients R=0.90 and R=0.95, respectively), as did the measurements for LVEF (R=0.86). Both EDV and ESV were slightly overestimated for larger ventricles but not for smaller ventricles; LVEF was slightly overestimated irrespective of ventricle size. The above correlation coefficients are comparable to those for the 4D-MSPECT and QGS segmentation algorithms. However, results obtained with the three segmentation algorithms are not interchangeable.
Conclusion: The ESM algorithm can be used to assess EDV, ESV and LVEF from gated perfusion SPECT images. Overall, the performance was similar to that of 4D-MSPECT and QGS when compared with cardiac MRI. Results obtained with the three tested segmentation methods are not interchangeable, so that the same algorithm should be used for follow-up studies and control subjects.