Activity concentration measurements using a conjugate gradient (Siemens xSPECT) reconstruction algorithm in SPECT/CT

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The interest in quantitative single photon emission computer tomography (SPECT) shows potential in a number of clinical applications and now several vendors are providing software and hardware solutions to allow ‘SUV-SPECT’ to mirror metrics used in PET imaging. This brief technical report assesses the accuracy of activity concentration measurements using a new algorithm ‘xSPECT’ from Siemens Healthcare. SPECT/CT data were acquired from a uniform cylinder with 5, 10, 15 and 20 s/projection and NEMA image quality phantom with 25 s/projection. The NEMA phantom had hot spheres filled with an 8 : 1 activity concentration relative to the background compartment. Reconstructions were performed using parameters defined by manufacturer presets available with the algorithm. The accuracy of activity concentration measurements was assessed. A dose calibrator–camera cross-calibration factor (CCF) was derived from the uniform phantom data. In uniform phantom images, a positive bias was observed, ranging from ∼6% in the lower count images to ∼4% in the higher-count images. On the basis of the higher-count data, a CCF of 0.96 was derived. As expected, considerable negative bias was measured in the NEMA spheres using region mean values whereas positive bias was measured in the four largest NEMA spheres. Nonmonotonically increasing recovery curves for the hot spheres suggested the presence of Gibbs edge enhancement from resolution modelling. Sufficiently accurate activity concentration measurements can easily be measured on images reconstructed with the xSPECT algorithm without a CCF. However, the use of a CCF is likely to improve accuracy further. A manual conversion of voxel values into SUV should be possible, provided that the patient weight, injected activity and time between injection and imaging are all known accurately.

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