Three-dimensional brain phantom containing bone and grey matter structures with a realistic head contour

Ann Nucl Med. 2013 Jan;27(1):25-36. doi: 10.1007/s12149-012-0655-7. Epub 2012 Sep 26.


Introduction: A physical 3-dimensional phantom that simulates PET/SPECT images of static regional cerebral blood flow in grey matter with a realistic head contour has been developed. This study examined the feasibility of using this phantom for evaluating PET/SPECT images.

Methods: The phantom was constructed using a transparent, hydrophobic photo-curable polymer with a laser-modelling technique. The phantom was designed to contain the grey matter, the skull, and the trachea spaces filled with a radioactive solution, a bone-equivalent solution of K(2)HPO(4), and air, respectively. The grey matter and bone compartments were designed to establish the connectivity. A series of experiments was performed to confirm the accuracy and reproducibility of the phantom using X-ray CT, SPECT, and PET.

Results: The total weight was 1997 ± 2 g excluding the inner liquid, and volumes were 563 ± 1 and 306 ± 2 mL, corresponding to the grey matter and bone compartments, respectively. The apparent attenuation coefficient averaged over the whole brain was 0.168 ± 0.006 cm(-1) for Tc-99 m, which was consistent with the previously reported value for humans (0.168 ± 0.010 cm(-1)). Air bubbles were well removed from both grey-matter and bone compartments, as confirmed by X-ray CT. The phantom was well adapted to experiments using PET and SPECT devices.

Conclusion: The 3-dimensional brain phantom constructed in this study may be of use for evaluating the adequacy of SPECT/PET reconstruction software programs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Brain / anatomy & histology*
  • Brain / blood supply
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging*
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation
  • Head / anatomy & histology*
  • Head / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional / instrumentation*
  • Phantoms, Imaging*
  • Positron-Emission Tomography
  • Skull / anatomy & histology*
  • Skull / diagnostic imaging
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon