Quantitative bremsstrahlung imaging of yttrium-90 using a Wiener filter

Med Phys. 1994 Sep;21(9):1409-17. doi: 10.1118/1.597198.


Yttrium-90 (90Y), a pure beta emitter, is an attractive radionuclide for radioimmunotherapy of cancer. Therapeutic management requires quantitative imaging to measure the pharmacokinetics of the radionuclide in the patient for radiation dosimetric calculations. The bremsstrahlung emissions can be utilized to acquire an image of beta sources using a gamma camera. Quantitation of 90Y by bremsstrahlung imaging is difficult because of poor image quality that results from septal penetration and scatter secondary to the broad bremsstrahlung energies. In this work, quantitative methods for bremsstrahlung imaging of 90Y sources that involved the use of (a) a Wiener filter to deconvolve the septal penetration and scatter while suppressing image noise, and (b) the geometric mean of the conjugate view (GM) and effective point source (EPS) methods to quantify activities were investigated. An abdominal phantom was prepared with 90Y activities in the liver, spleen, tumors, and background volumes that were similar to those observed in patient studies. A twofold improvement in resolution recovery for full width at tenth maximum of the line spread function at 11 cm depth in water was achieved using Wiener restoration. Definition of the organ and tumor edges was greatly enhanced and cross talk between adjacent sources was suppressed after Wiener restoration. These improvements in image quality led to more accurate estimation of organ and tumor activities. Using the optimum attenuation correction method for GM and EPS quantitation of filtered bremsstrahlung images, estimates of individual activities (< or = 17% error) and cumulated activities (< or = 8% error) in all of the sources were accurate except for a tumor of 2 cm diameter. The results of this study provide the basis for a method to quantify beta source distribution and demonstrate the potential use of bremsstrahlung imaging in clinical settings.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Gamma Rays
  • Humans
  • Liver / diagnostic imaging
  • Models, Theoretical*
  • Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Radioimmunotherapy
  • Radionuclide Imaging
  • Spleen / diagnostic imaging
  • Yttrium Radioisotopes* / pharmacokinetics
  • Yttrium Radioisotopes* / therapeutic use


  • Yttrium Radioisotopes