Validation of a Multimodality Flow Phantom and Its Application for Assessment of Dynamic SPECT and PET Technologies

IEEE Trans Med Imaging. 2017 Jan;36(1):132-141. doi: 10.1109/TMI.2016.2599779.


Simple and robust techniques are lacking to assess performance of flow quantification using dynamic imaging. We therefore developed a method to qualify flow quantification technologies using a physical compartment exchange phantom and image analysis tool. We validate and demonstrate utility of this method using dynamic PET and SPECT. Dynamic image sequences were acquired on two PET/CT and a cardiac dedicated SPECT (with and without attenuation and scatter corrections) systems. A two-compartment exchange model was fit to image derived time-activity curves to quantify flow rates. Flowmeter measured flow rates (20-300 mL/min) were set prior to imaging and were used as reference truth to which image derived flow rates were compared. Both PET cameras had excellent agreement with truth ( [Formula: see text]). High-end PET had no significant bias (p > 0.05) while lower-end PET had minimal slope bias (wash-in and wash-out slopes were 1.02 and 1.01) but no significant reduction in precision relative to high-end PET (<15% vs. <14% limits of agreement, p > 0.3). SPECT (without scatter and attenuation corrections) slope biases were noted (0.85 and 1.32) and attributed to camera saturation in early time frames. Analysis of wash-out rates from non-saturated, late time frames resulted in excellent agreement with truth ( [Formula: see text], slope = 0.97). Attenuation and scatter corrections did not significantly impact SPECT performance. The proposed phantom, software and quality assurance paradigm can be used to qualify imaging instrumentation and protocols for quantification of kinetic rate parameters using dynamic imaging.

Publication types

  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Multimodal Imaging
  • Phantoms, Imaging
  • Positron Emission Tomography Computed Tomography*
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon*