Optimizing multi-pinhole SPECT geometries using an analytical model

Phys Med Biol. 2007 May 7;52(9):2567-81. doi: 10.1088/0031-9155/52/9/016. Epub 2007 Apr 17.


State-of-the-art multi-pinhole SPECT devices allow for sub-mm resolution imaging of radio-molecule distributions in small laboratory animals. The optimization of multi-pinhole and detector geometries using simulations based on ray-tracing or Monte Carlo algorithms is time-consuming, particularly because many system parameters need to be varied. As an efficient alternative we develop a continuous analytical model of a pinhole SPECT system with a stationary detector set-up, which we apply to focused imaging of a mouse. The model assumes that the multi-pinhole collimator and the detector both have the shape of a spherical layer, and uses analytical expressions for effective pinhole diameters, sensitivity and spatial resolution. For fixed fields-of-view, a pinhole-diameter adapting feedback loop allows for the comparison of the system resolution of different systems at equal system sensitivity, and vice versa. The model predicts that (i) for optimal resolution or sensitivity the collimator layer with pinholes should be placed as closely as possible around the animal given a fixed detector layer, (ii) with high-resolution detectors a resolution improvement up to 31% can be achieved compared to optimized systems, (iii) high-resolution detectors can be placed close to the collimator without significant resolution losses, (iv) interestingly, systems with a physical pinhole diameter of 0 mm can have an excellent resolution when high-resolution detectors are used.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Computer Simulation*
  • Gamma Cameras
  • Mice
  • Models, Theoretical*
  • Monte Carlo Method
  • Phantoms, Imaging
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon / methods*