Validation of the influence of CT slice thickness on the quantitative accuracy and image quality of single photon emission computed tomography

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Radiology, Chiba Aoba Municipal Hospital

2 Department of Radiology, Chiba Kaihin Municipal Hospital


Objective(s): Computed tomography (CT) images are used for precise anatomical location of lesions and for accurate attenuation correction in single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) image reconstruction in SPECT/CT examination. The aim of this study was to verify the effects of varying CT collimation width and slice thickness on CT images and on CT attenuation corrected SPECT images.
Methods: We acquired SPECT/CT images of a micro-coin phantom and the National Electrical Manufacturers Association body phantom filled with 99mTc-pertechnetate while varying the abovementioned CT parameters. The full width at half maximum of the slice sensitivity profile, the standard deviation of CT image background noise, and the radiation dose from CT scans were evaluated. Subsequently, the percentage contrast, background variability, and absolute recovery coefficient of the SPECT image were measured. Furthermore, we retrospectively reviewed the clinical bone SPECT images of 23 patients, and statistical testing of differences was performed.
Results: As the collimation width and reconstruction slice thickness of the CT image increased, z-axis resolution deteriorated, and background noise decreased. In addition, CT radiation dose decreased with increasing collimation width. Meanwhile, SPECT image quality and quantitative accuracy were unchanged with varying CT collimation width and slice thickness. There were no notable variations in clinical SPECT images and no statistically significant differences.
Conclusion: When high-resolution CT slices on the z-axis are not required for clinical diagnosis, increasing collimation width or slice thickness can reduce the radiation dose and image noise with no influence on the quality of SPECT images.


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