Development of organ-specific dual-head single-photon emission computed tomography using variable pinhole collimator

Hyemi Cha, Kyeyoung Cho, Young Jun Jung, Seungbin Bae, Kyeong Min Kim, Minho Kim, Hakjae Lee, Kisung Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) is a nuclear medical imaging method enabling the user to view functional images of patients. The collimator, which is an essential component of the SPECT, limits the direction of the incident gamma rays, such that the distribution of the gamma photons from the body can be observed. Collimators are composed of shielding materials with high atomic number and density, thus it is difficult to fabricate them in complex shapes. Among the existing collimators, the pinhole collimator consists of a small aperture perforated in a shielding material, and the modification of the pinhole parameters, such as the hole diameter and acceptance angle, during the scan is also challenging. A variable pinhole (VP) collimator comprises several thin tungsten layers with various hole sizes. Thus, the pinhole parameters can be varied for the region of interest (ROI) by forming the desired pinhole shape using a combination of holes. In this study, we implemented the concept of a VP collimator and applied it in a SPECT system to enhance its performance. The collimator was composed of five layers of with a diameter of 170 mm and thickness of 1 mm and with six holes of different sizes in each layer. Two point sources (Co-57, 122 keV) were used for the performance analysis by changing the system parameters. The spatial resolution and sensitivity of the SPECT system were affected by the variation of the pinhole diameters, with the peak-to-valley ratio increasing by up to 3.3 times with the increase in the magnification of the SPECT system. Two line source phantoms (Tc-99m, 140 keV) with an internal diameter of 1 mm were used for the performance evaluation of the system. The phantoms were positioned 20 mm apart inside the ROI with a diameter of 50 mm at a position of 29 mm from the object center. By applying the VP collimator, the resolution and the sensitivity performance were improved, achieving a full width at half maximum value of 2.7 times and counts of 2.8 times those of the conventional SPECT system. In future research, we aim to improve the system efficiency by conducting simultaneous experimental driving test of the dual-head VP collimator SPECT system.

Keywords

  • Organ-specific SPECT
  • Single-photon emission computed tomography
  • Variable pinhole collimator

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Instrumentation

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