Extension of the International Atomic Energy Agency phantom study in image quantification: results of multicentre evaluation in Croatia

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To make quantitative methods of nuclear medicine more available, four centres in Croatia participated in the national intercomparison study, following the materials and methods used in the previous international study organized by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The study task was to calculate the activities of four 133Ba sources (T1/2=10.54 years; Eγ=356 keV) using planar and single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) or SPECT/CT acquisitions of the sources inside a water-filled cylindrical phantom. The sources were previously calibrated by the US National Institute of Standards and Technology. Triple-energy window was utilized for scatter correction. Planar studies were corrected for attenuation correction (AC) using the conjugate-view method. For SPECT/CT studies, data from X-ray computed tomography were used for attenuation correction (CT-AC), whereas for SPECT-only acquisition, the Chang-AC method was applied. Using the lessons learned from the IAEA study, data were acquired according to the harmonized data acquisition protocol, and the acquired images were then processed using centralized data analysis. The accuracy of the activity quantification was evaluated as the ratio R between the calculated activity and the value obtained from National Institute of Standards and Technology. For planar studies, R=1.06±0.08; for SPECT/CT study using CT-AC, R=1.00±0.08; and for Chang-AC, R=0.89±0.12. The results are in accordance with those obtained within the larger IAEA study and confirm that SPECT/CT method is the most appropriate for accurate activity quantification.

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