Technological development and advances in single-photon emission computed tomography/computed tomography

Semin Nucl Med. 2008 May;38(3):177-98. doi: 10.1053/j.semnuclmed.2008.01.001.


Single-photon emission computed tomography/computed tomography (SPECT/CT) has emerged during the past decade as a means of correlating anatomical information from CT with functional information from SPECT. The integration of SPECT and CT in a single imaging device facilitates anatomical localization of the radiopharmaceutical to differentiate physiological uptake from that associated with disease and patient-specific attenuation correction to improve the visual quality and quantitative accuracy of the SPECT image. The first clinically available SPECT/CT systems performed emission-transmission imaging using a dual-headed SPECT camera and a low-power x-ray CT subsystem. Newer SPECT/CT systems are available with high-power CT subsystems suitable for detailed anatomical diagnosis, including CT coronary angiography and coronary calcification that can be correlated with myocardial perfusion measurements. The high-performance CT capabilities also offer the potential to improve compensation of partial volume errors for more accurate quantitation of radionuclide measurement of myocardial blood flow and other physiological processes and for radiation dosimetry for radionuclide therapy. In addition, new SPECT technologies are being developed that significantly improve the detection efficiency and spatial resolution for radionuclide imaging of small organs including the heart, brain, and breast, and therefore may provide new capabilities for SPECT/CT imaging in these important clinical applications.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Coronary Angiography
  • Coronary Artery Disease / diagnostic imaging
  • Coronary Artery Disease / physiopathology
  • Coronary Circulation
  • Equipment Design / trends
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / trends
  • Radiopharmaceuticals / pharmacokinetics*
  • Radiotherapy Dosage
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Technology, Radiologic / instrumentation*
  • Technology, Radiologic / trends
  • Tomography Scanners, X-Ray Computed / trends
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon / instrumentation*
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon / trends
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / instrumentation*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / trends


  • Radiopharmaceuticals