This work is part of a feasibility study to develop SPECT imaging capability on a lutetium oxyorthosilicate (LSO) based animal PET system. The SPECT acquisition was enabled by inserting a collimator assembly inside the detector ring and acquiring data in singles mode. The same LSO detectors were used for both PET and SPECT imaging. The intrinsic radioactivity of 176Lu in the LSO crystals, however, contaminates the SPECT data, and can generate image artifacts and introduce quantification error. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the effectiveness of a LSO background subtraction method, and to estimate the minimal detectable target activity (MDTA) of image object for SPECT imaging. For LSO background correction, the LSO contribution in an image study was estimated based on a pre-measured long LSO background scan and subtracted prior to the image reconstruction. The MDTA was estimated in two ways. The empirical MDTA (eMDTA) was estimated from screening the tomographic images at different activity levels. The calculated MDTA (cMDTA) was estimated from using a formula based on applying a modified Currie equation on an average projection dataset. Two simulated and two experimental phantoms with different object activity distributions and levels were used in this study. The results showed that LSO background adds concentric ring artifacts to the reconstructed image, and the simple subtraction method can effectively remove these artifacts - the effect of the correction was more visible when the object activity level was near or above the eMDTA. For the four phantoms studied, the cMDTA was consistently about five times of the corresponding eMDTA. In summary, we implemented a simple LSO background subtraction method and demonstrated its effectiveness. The projection-based calculation formula yielded MDTA results that closely correlate with that obtained empirically and may have predicative value for imaging applications.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging