Influences of reconstruction and attenuation correction in brain SPECT images obtained by the hybrid SPECT/CT device: evaluation with a 3‐dimensional brain phantom

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Medical Technology, Kyushu University Hospital, Japan

2 Institute of Biomedical Research and Innovation, Japan

3 Department of Health Sciences, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kyushu University, Japan


Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the influences of reconstruction and attenuation correction on the differences in the radioactivity distributions in 123I brain SPECT obtained by the hybrid SPECT/CT device.
Methods: We used the 3-dimensional (3D) brain phantom, which imitates the precise structure of gray mater, white matter and bone regions. It was filled with 123I solution (20.1 kBq/mL) in the gray matter region and with K2HPO4 in the bone region. The SPECT/CT data were acquired by the hybrid SPECT/CT device. SPECT images were reconstructed by using filtered back projection with uniform attenuation correction (FBP-uAC), 3D ordered-subsets expectation-maximization with uniform AC (3D-OSEM-uAC) and 3D OSEM with CT-based non-uniform AC (3D-OSEM-CTAC). We evaluated the differences in the radioactivity distributions among these reconstruction methods using a 3D digital phantom, which was developed from CT images of the 3D brain phantom, as a reference. The normalized mean square error (NMSE) and regional radioactivity were calculated to evaluate the similarity of SPECT images to the 3D digital phantom.
Results: The NMSE values were 0.0811 in FBP-uAC, 0.0914 in 3D-OSEM-uAC and 0.0766 in 3D-OSEM-CTAC. The regional radioactivity of FBP-uAC was 11.5% lower in the middle cerebral artery territory, and that of 3D-OSEM-uAC was 5.8% higher in the anterior cerebral artery territory, compared with the digital phantom. On the other hand, that of 3D-OSEM-CTAC was 1.8% lower in all brain areas.
Conclusion: By using the hybrid SPECT/CT device, the brain SPECT reconstructed by 3D-OSEM with CT attenuation correction can provide an accurate assessment of the distribution of brain radioactivity.