Yttrium-90-labeled microsphere tracking during liver selective internal radiotherapy by bremsstrahlung pinhole SPECT: feasibility study and evaluation in an abdominal phantom

EJNMMI Res. 2011 Dec 2;1(1):32. doi: 10.1186/2191-219X-1-32.


Background: The purpose of the study is to evaluate whether a pinhole collimator is better adapted to bremsstrahlung single photon emission computed tomography [SPECT] than parallel-hole collimators and in the affirmative, to evaluate whether pinhole bremsstrahlung SPECT, including a simple model of the scatter inside the patient, could provide a fast dosimetry assessment in liver selective internal radiotherapy [SIRT].

Materials and methods: Bremsstrahlung SPECT of an abdominal-shaped phantom including one cold and five hot spheres was performed using two long-bore parallel-hole collimators: a medium-energy general-purpose [MEGP] and a high-energy general-purpose [HEGP], and also using a medium-energy pinhole [MEPH] collimator. In addition, ten helical MEPH SPECTs (acquisition time 3.6 min) of a realistic liver-SIRT phantom were also acquired.

Results: Without scatter correction for SPECT, MEPH SPECT provided a significantly better contrast recovery coefficient [CRC] than MEGP and HEGP SPECTs. The CRCs obtained with MEPH SPECT were still improved with the scatter correction and became comparable to those obtained with positron-emission tomography [PET] for the 36-, 30- (cold), 28-, and 24-mm-diameter spheres: CRC = 1.09, 0.59, 0.91, and 0.69, respectively, for SPECT and CRC = 1.07, 0.56, 0.84, and 0.63, respectively, for PET. However, MEPH SPECT gave the best CRC for the 19-mm-diameter sphere: CRC = 0.56 for SPECT and CRC = 0.01 for PET. The 3.6-min helical MEPH SPECT provided accurate and reproducible activity estimation for the liver-SIRT phantom: relative deviation = 10 ± 1%.

Conclusion: Bremsstrahlung SPECT using a pinhole collimator provided a better CRC than those obtained with parallel-hole collimators. The different designs and the better attenuating material used for the collimation (tungsten instead of lead) explain this result. Further, the addition of an analytical modeling of the scattering inside the phantom resulted in an almost fully recovered contrast. This fills the gap between the performance of90Y-PET and bremsstrahlung pinhole SPECT which is a more affordable technique and could even be used during the catheterization procedure in order to optimize the90Y activity to inject.