A fast cardiac gamma camera with dynamic SPECT capabilities: design, system validation and future potential

Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2010 Oct;37(10):1887-902. doi: 10.1007/s00259-010-1488-z. Epub 2010 Jun 29.


Purpose: The goal of this study is to present the Discovery NM 530c (DNM), a cardiac SPECT camera, interfacing multi-pinhole collimators with solid-state modules, aiming at slashing acquisition time without jeopardizing quality. DNM resembles PET since it enables 3-D SPECT without detector motion. We further envision how these novel capabilities may help with current and future challenges of cardiac imaging.

Methods: DNM sensitivity, spatial resolution (SR) and energy resolution (ER), count rate response, cardiac uniformity and cardiac defect contrast were measured and compared to a dedicated cardiac, dual-head standard SPECT (S-SPECT) camera.

Results: DNM sensitivity was more than threefold higher while SR was notably better. Significantly, SR was the same for (99m)Tc and (201)Tl. ER was improved on DNM and allowed good separation of (99m)Tc and (123)I spectral peaks. Count rate remained linear on DNM up to 612 kcps, while S-SPECT showed severe dead time limitations. Phantom studies revealed comparable uniformity and defect contrast, notwithstanding significantly shorter acquisition time for the DNM. First patient images, including dynamic SPECT, are also presented.

Conclusion: DNM is raising the bar for expedition and upgrade of practice. It features high sensitivity as well as improved SR, temporal resolution and ER. It enables reduction of acquisition time and fast protocols. Importantly, it is potentially capable of dynamic 3-D acquisition. The new technology is potentially upgradeable and may become a milestone in the evolution of nuclear cardiology as it assumes its key role in molecular imaging of the heart.

Publication types

  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Cardiology / instrumentation
  • Equipment Design / methods*
  • Female
  • Gamma Cameras*
  • Heart / diagnostic imaging*
  • Humans
  • Iodine Radioisotopes
  • Male
  • Organotechnetium Compounds
  • Phantoms, Imaging
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Time Factors
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon / instrumentation*
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon / methods


  • Iodine Radioisotopes
  • Organotechnetium Compounds