Pediatric 99mTc-MDP bone SPECT with ordered subset expectation maximization iterative reconstruction with isotropic 3D resolution recovery

Radiology. 2010 Dec;257(3):793-801. doi: 10.1148/radiol.10100102. Epub 2010 Sep 21.


Purpose: To perform a preliminary evaluation of the image quality of pediatric technetium 99m ((99m)Tc) methylene diphosphonate (MDP) bone single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) by using iterative reconstruction-ordered subset expectation maximization with three-dimensional resolution recovery (OSEM-3D)-and to assess whether any improvements with use of this technique could lead to a reduction in patient dose or a shortening in imaging time.

Materials and methods: Institutional advisory board approval was obtained for this investigation. Fifty (99m)Tc-MDP SPECT studies of the spine were evaluated (36 female and 14 male patients; mean age, 15.5 years). Each study was acquired by using a dual-detector camera, with each detector rotating 360°. By using filtered back projection (FBP) and OSEM-3D, images were reconstructed from data generated by both detectors. Likewise, OSEM-3D was used to reconstruct data from a single detector simulating half the administered radiopharmaceutical activity. Two nuclear medicine physicians, blinded to the patient data, reviewed the images for image quality in four different categories by using a four-point scale: artifacts (category 1), lesions (category 2), noise (category 3), and image sharpness (category 4).

Results: Compared with FBP, images reconstructed by using OSEM-3D with one or two detectors showed significant improvement in image quality with regard to lesion detection, noise level, and image sharpness (P < .02, .01, and .001, respectively). With OSEM-3D, no significant differences were observed when either one or two detectors were used.

Conclusion: Improved image quality of skeletal SPECT with either a 50% reduction in radiation dose or a 50% reduction in acquisition time or combination of the two can be achieved by using OSEM-3D.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Enhancement / methods
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional*
  • Logistic Models
  • Low Back Pain / diagnostic imaging*
  • Male
  • Radiation Dosage
  • Radiopharmaceuticals*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Software
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Technetium Tc 99m Medronate*
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon*
  • Young Adult


  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Technetium Tc 99m Medronate