Scatter and attenuation correction for 111In based on energy spectrum fitting

Med Phys. 1996 Jul;23(7):1277-85. doi: 10.1118/1.597693.


A combined scatter and attenuation correction that does not require a transmission scan is proposed for 111In imaging. Estimates of the unscattered intensity at both 171 and 245 keV are obtained by fitting the observed energy spectrum at each pixel or region of interest using the measured scatter-free spectrum and a simple model for scatter. The scatter model for the 171 keV peak accounts for scatter contributed by both the 171 and 245 keV emissions. After correcting for scatter, the attenuation is estimated from the observed ratio of photopeak intensities using the known difference in attenuation at the two emission energies and a model based on a point source in water. Accurate scatter correction is a prerequisite for the success of this method because scatter from the higher energy emission will otherwise contaminate the lower photopeak. This differential attenuation method (DAM) of estimating attenuation is demonstrated and calibrated using a series of point source measurements with a wedge-shaped attenuator. The observed absolute and differential attenuation are in good agreement with the narrow-beam linear attenuation coefficients for water. Estimates of precision suggest a depth resolution of 1.0-2.5 cm for realistic count densities over the clinically relevant depth range (0-25 cm). The accuracy of DAM in a more realistic attenuation environment is assessed using a hot sphere inside the anthropomorphic data spectrum torso phantom viewed from several angles (with differing attenuation). Finally, the potential of DAM for SPECT attenuation correction was investigated by computer simulation using the SIMSET Monte Carlo software. Preliminary results based on measured planar data and simulated SPECT data indicate that DAM can improve the quality and quantitative accuracy of 111In images. In one SPECT simulation study, the average error in tumor to soft-tissue ratios was reduced from 32% for uncorrected data to 8% for data corrected with DAM. However, the technique is susceptible to significant noise amplification and can cause substantial streak artifacts in low-count SPECT studies if sufficient smoothing of the depth estimates is not performed.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Biophysical Phenomena
  • Biophysics
  • Computer Simulation
  • Humans
  • Indium Radioisotopes*
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Monte Carlo Method
  • Phantoms, Imaging
  • Scattering, Radiation
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon / instrumentation
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon / methods*
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon / statistics & numerical data


  • Indium Radioisotopes