Purpose: Shortening scan time and/or reducing radiation dose at maintained image quality are the main issues of the current research in radionuclide myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI). We aimed to validate a new iterative reconstruction (IR) algorithm for SPECT MPI allowing shortened acquisition time (HALF time) while maintaining image quality vs. standard full time acquisition (FULL time).
Methods: In this study, 50 patients, referred for evaluation of known or suspected coronary artery disease by SPECT MPI using 99mTc-Tetrofosmin, underwent 1-day adenosine stress 300 MBq/rest 900 MBq protocol with standard (stress 15 min/rest 15 min FULL time) immediately followed by short emission scan (stress 9 min/rest 7 min HALF time) on a Ventri SPECT camera (GE Healthcare). FULL time scans were processed with IR, short scans were additionally processed with a recently developed software algorithm for HALF time emission scans. All reconstructions were subsequently analyzed using commercially available software (QPS/QGS, Cedars Medical Sinai) with/without X-ray based attenuation correction (AC). Uptake values (percent of maximum) were compared by regression and Bland-Altman (BA) analysis in a 20-segment model.
Results: HALF scans yielded a 96% readout and 100% clinical diagnosis concordance compared to FULL. Correlation for uptake in each segment (n = 1,000) was r = 0.87at stress (p < 0.001) and r = 0.89 at rest (p < 0.001) with respective BA limits of agreement of -11% to 10% and -12% to 11%. After AC similar correlation (r = 0.82, rest; r = 0.80, stress, both p < 0.001) and BA limits were found (-12% to 10%; -13% to 12%).
Conclusion: With the new IR algorithm, SPECT MPI can be acquired at half of the scan time without compromising image quality, resulting in an excellent agreement with FULL time scans regarding to uptake and clinical conclusion.