Evaluating the effect of a third-party implementation of resolution recovery on the quality of SPECT bone scan imaging using visual grading regression

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Abstract

Aim

The aim of this study was to evaluate the benefits to SPECT bone scan image quality when applying resolution recovery (RR) during image reconstruction using software provided by a third-party supplier.

Methods

Bone SPECT data from 90 clinical studies were reconstructed retrospectively using software supplied independent of the gamma camera manufacturer. The current clinical datasets contain 120×10 s projections and are reconstructed using an iterative method with a Butterworth postfilter. Five further reconstructions were created with the following characteristics: 10 s projections with a Butterworth postfilter (to assess intraobserver variation); 10 s projections with a Gaussian postfilter with and without RR; and 5 s projections with a Gaussian postfilter with and without RR. Two expert observers were asked to rate image quality on a five-point scale relative to our current clinical reconstruction. Datasets were anonymized and presented in random order. The benefits of RR on image scores were evaluated using ordinal logistic regression (visual grading regression).

Results

The application of RR during reconstruction increased the probability of both observers of scoring image quality as better than the current clinical reconstruction even where the dataset contained half the normal counts. Type of reconstruction and observer were both statistically significant variables in the ordinal logistic regression model.

Conclusion

Visual grading regression was found to be a useful method for validating the local introduction of technological developments in nuclear medicine imaging. RR, as implemented by the independent software supplier, improved bone SPECT image quality when applied during image reconstruction. In the majority of clinical cases, acquisition times for bone SPECT intended for the purposes of localization can safely be halved (from 10 s projections to 5 s) when RR is applied.

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