Scientific publication

Quantitative Monte Carlo‑based brain dopamine transporter SPECT imaging

Tuija Kangasmaa et al.

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Objective Brain dopamine transporter imaging with I-123-labeled radioligands is technically demanding due to the small size of the imaging target relative to the spatial resolution of most SPECT systems. In addition, I-123 has high-energy peaks which can penetrate or scatter in the collimator and be detected in the imaging energy window. The aim of this study was to implement Monte Carlo (MC)-based full collimator–detector response (CDR) compensation algorithm for I-123 into a third-party commercial SPECT reconstruction software package and to evaluate its effect on the quantitative accuracy of dopaminergic-image analysis compared to a method where only the geometric component of the CDR is compensated.

Methods In this work, we utilized a full Monte Carlo collimator–detector model and incorporated it into an iterative SPECT reconstruction algorithm. The full Monte Carlo model reconstruction was compared to standard reconstruction using an anthropomorphic striatal phantom filled with different I-123 striatal/cortex uptake ratios and with clinical I-123 Ioflupane DaTScan studies.

Results Reconstruction with the full model yielded higher (13–25%) striatal uptake ratios than the conventional reconstruction, but the uptake ratios were still much lower than the true ratios due to partial volume effect. Visually, images reconstructed with the full Monte Carlo model had better contrast and resolution than the conventional images, with both phantom and patient studies.

Conclusions Reconstruction with full Monte Carlo collimator–detector model yields higher quantitative accuracy than conventional reconstruction. Additional work to reduce the partial volume effect related errors would improve the accuracy further.