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19 March 2007 A system model for pinhole SPECT simulating edge penetration, detector, and pinhole response and non-uniform attenuation
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Small animal SPECT using low energy photons of I-125 and approaching resolutions of microscopic levels, imaging parameters such as pinhole edge penetration, detector blur, geometric response, detector and pinhole misalignment, and gamma photon attenuation and scatter can have increasingly noticeable and/or adverse effects on reconstructed image quality. Iterative reconstruction algorithms, the widelyaccepted standard for emission tomography, allow modeling of such parameters through a system matrix. For this Monte Carlo simulation study, non-uniform attenuation correction was added to the existing system model. The model was constructed using ray-tracing and further included corrections for edge penetration, detector blur, and geometric aperture response. For each ray passing through different aperture locations, this method attenuates a voxel's contribution to a detector element along the photon path, which is then weighted according to a pinhole penetration model. To lower the computational and memory expenses, symmetry along the detector axes and an incremental storage scheme for the system model were used. For evaluating the nonuniform attenuation correction method, 3 phantoms were designed of which projection images were simulated using Monte Carlo methods. The first phantom was used to examined skin artifacts, the second to simulate attenuation by bone, and the third to generate artifacts of an air-filled space surrounded by soft tissue. In reconstructions without attenuation correction, artifacts were observed with up to a 40% difference in activity. These could be corrected using the implemented method, although in one case overcorrection occurred. Overall, attenuation correction improved reconstruction accuracy of the radioisotope distribution in the presence of structural differences.
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Christian Wietholt, Ing-Tsung Hsiao, and Chin-Tu Chen "A system model for pinhole SPECT simulating edge penetration, detector, and pinhole response and non-uniform attenuation", Proc. SPIE 6510, Medical Imaging 2007: Physics of Medical Imaging, 65103N (19 March 2007);

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