Inclusion of quasi-vertex views in a brain-dedicated multi-pinhole SPECT system for improved imaging performance

Phys Med Biol. 2021 Jan 27;66(3):035007. doi: 10.1088/1361-6560/abc22e.


With brain-dedicated multi-detector systems employing pinhole apertures the usage of detectors facing the top of the patient's head (i.e. quasi-vertex (QV) views) can provide the advantage of additional viewing from close to the brain for improved detector coverage. In this paper, we report the results of simulation and reconstruction studies to investigate the impact of the QV views on the imaging performance of AdaptiSPECT-C, a brain-dedicated stationary SPECT system under development. In this design, both primary and scatter photons from regions located inferior to the brain can contribute to SPECT projections acquired by the QV views, and thus degrade AdaptiSPECT-C imaging performance. In this work, we determined the proportion, origin, and nature (i.e. primary, scatter, and multiple-scatter) of counts emitted from structures within the head and throughout the body contributing to projections from the different AdaptiSPECT-C detector rings, as well as from a true vertex view detector. We simulated phantoms used to assess different aspects of image quality (i.e. uniform activity concentration sphere, and Derenzo), as well as anthropomorphic phantoms with different count levels emulating clinical 123I activity distributions (i.e. DaTscan and perfusion). We determined that attenuation and scatter in the patient's body greatly diminish the probability of the photons emitted outside the volume of interest reaching to detectors and being recorded within the 15% photopeak energy window. In addition, we demonstrated that the inclusion of the residual of such counts in the system acquisition does not degrade visual interpretation or quantitative analysis. The addition of the QV detectors improves volumetric sensitivity, angular sampling, and spatial resolution leading to significant enhancement in image quality, especially in the striato-thalamic and superior regions of the brain. Besides, the use of QV detectors improves the recovery of clinically relevant metrics such as the striatal binding ratio and mean activity in selected cerebral structures. Our findings proving the usefulness of the QV ring for brain imaging with 123I agents can be generalized to other commonly used SPECT imaging agents labelled with isotopes, such as 99mTc and likely 111In.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Brain / diagnostic imaging*
  • Computer Simulation
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Phantoms, Imaging
  • Photons
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon / instrumentation
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon / methods*