AuthorRowe, Robert Kjell.
Single-photon emission computed tomography
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis dissertation presents the results of an investigation into the performance characteristics of a unique hemispherical SPECT (single-photon emission computed tomography) imaging system capable of producing three-dimensional (3D) tomographic images of the human brain. The system is completely stationary and collects all necessary views of the patient simultaneously, with no system motion. The imager consists of twenty small (10cm x 10cm crystal area), digital gamma cameras arranged in a hemispherical pattern around the patient's head and a hemispherical lead aperture. The hemispherical aperture is positioned between the cameras and the head and contains a large number of pinholes; in this way each camera sees a number of overlapping pinhole projections of the radioactive distribution within the patient's brain. The initial investigation of the performance characteristics of a 3D SPECT system of this design were carried out using a computer simulation in which effects due to radiometry, finite pinhole size, finite detector resolution, photon noise, and object attenuation were included. We used a digital 3D brain phantom as the test object and an iterative search algorithm to perform the reconstructions. The simulations were used to compare the performance of a variety of system configurations. Based upon the results of the simulation study, we constructed a laboratory prototype of the 3D SPECT system, which we used to further characterize the expected performance of a clinical imaging system of the same design. Prior to collecting SPECT data we calibrated the imaging system, which required that we efficiently measure and store the spatially variant system response function. These calibration data were then included in the reconstructions of the SPECT phantoms that we imaged. A number of different SPECT phantoms were imaged to demonstrate the system performance. We measured a reconstructed spatial resolution of 4.8mm full-width at half-maximum and a full-system sensitivity of 36cps/μCi, where both values were measured for a point source in air located at the center of the field of view. We also describe an analysis that we performed to determine the equivalent, non-multiplexed system sensitivity; using this method, we found that the equivalent sensitivity was 79% of the measured value for the system configuration and the particular task that we investigated.
Degree ProgramOptical Sciences