In traditional pulmonary perfusion single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), respiratory lung motion and cyclically varying changes in lung volume during image acquisition inherently degrade the image sharpness of ill-defined perfusion defects. However, because of the lack of an adequate fast imaging technique, perfusion SPECT has never been acquired under breathhold conditions, whereas breathhold images are commonly used for pulmonary magnetic resonance (MR) and computed tomographic (CT) images. Although a high-speed imaging technique combined with a multidetector SPECT system may enable SPECT images to be obtained during a short period of breathholding, image quality would be degraded owing to decreased radioactivity counts and increased statistical noise. To resolve this problem, we developed an innovative SPECT imaging technique using a triple-head SPECT system and the high-speed-detector rotation-multiplied projection (HSRMP) technique, where a single SPECT image was reconstructed from multiple respiratory dimensional breathhold projection data obtained at the same angle. HSRMP provided noiseless high-quality perfusion SPECT images by compensating for decreased radioactivity counts caused by high-speed imaging, and significantly improved image quality and perfusion defect clarity compared with traditional non-breathhold SPECT images.
Transmission scanning can be successfully performed with a Cs-137 single-photon-emitting point source for three-dimensional PET imaging. This method was effective for postinjection transmission scanning because of differences in physical energy. However, scatter contamination in the transmission data lowers measured attenuation coefficients. The purpose of this study was to investigate the accuracy of the influence of object scattering by measuring the attenuation coefficients on the transmission images. We also compared the results with the conventional germanium line source method. Methods: Two different types of PET scanner, the SET-3000 G/X (Shimadzu Corp.) and ECAT EXACT HR+ (Siemens/CTI), were used. For the transmission scanning, the SET-3000 G/X and ECAT HR+ were the Cs-137 point source and Ge-68/Ga-68 line source, respectively. With the SET-3000 G/X, we performed transmission measurement at two energy gate settings, the standard 600-800 keV as well as 500-800 keV. The energy gate setting of the ECAT HR+ was 350-650 keV. The effects of scattering in a uniform phantom with different cross-sectional areas ranging from 201 cm2 to 314 cm2 to 628 cm2 (apposition of the two 20 cm diameter phantoms) and 943 cm2 (stacking of the three 20 cm diameter phantoms) were acquired without emission activity. First, we evaluated the attenuation coefficients of the two different types of transmission scanning using region of interest (ROI) analysis. In addition, we evaluated the attenuation coefficients with and without segmentation for Cs-137 transmission images using the same analysis. The segmentation method was a histogram-based soft-tissue segmentation process that can also be applied to reconstructed transmission images. Results: In the Cs-137 experiment, the maximum underestimation was 3% without segmentation, which was reduced to less than 1% with segmentation at the center of the largest phantom. In the Ge-68/Ga-68 experiment, the difference in mean attenuation coefficients was stable with all phantoms. Conclusion: We evaluated the accuracy of attenuation coefficients of Cs-137 single-transmission scans. The results for Cs-137 suggest that scattered photons depend on object size. Although Cs-137 single-transmission scans contained scattered photons, attenuation coefficient error could be reduced using by the segmentation method.
The advantage of the higher signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of 3-Tesla magnetic resonance imaging (3TMRI) contributes to the improvement of spatial and temporal resolution. However, T1-weighted images of the brain obtained by the spin-echo (SE) method at 3T MR are not satisfactory for clinical use because of radiofrequency (RF) field inhomogeneity and prolongation of the longitudinal relaxation time (T1) of most tissues. We evaluated optimal pulse sequences to obtain adequate T1 contrast, high gray matter/white matter contrast, and suitable postcontrast T1-weighted images using the three-dimentional (3D) fast spoiled gradient recalled acquisition in the steady state (FSPGR) method instead of the SE method. For the optimization of T1 contrast, the Ernst angle of the optimal flip angle (FA) was obtained from the T1 value of cerebral white matter with the shortest TR and TE. Then the most appropriate FA, showing the maximum contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) and SNR, was obtained by changing the FA every 5 degrees at about the level of the Ernst angle. Image uniformity was evaluated by a phantom showing similar T1 and T2 values of cerebral white matter. In order to evaluate the effect of the contrast enhancement, signal intensity was compared by the same method using a phantom filled with various dilutions of contrast media. Moreover, clinical studies using full (0.1 mmol/kg) and half (0.05 mmol/kg) doses of Gd-DTPA were carried out with the most appropriate parameters of the 3D-FSPGR method. These studies indicated that the optimal pulse sequences for obtaining an adequate T1-weighted image of the brain using 3D-FSPGR are 9/2 msec (TR/TE) and 13 degrees (FA).
To avoid radiation injury from interventional radiology (IVR), quality assurance (QA) of IVR equipment based on dosimetry is important. In this study, we investigated the usefulness of measuring patient skin dose with a passive integrating dosimeter and water phantom. The optically stimulated luminescence dosimeter (OSLD) was chosen from among various passive integrating dosimeters. The characteristics of the OSLD were compared with a reference ionization dosimeter. The effective energy obtained from the OSLD was compared with that found by the aluminum attenuation method for using the reference ionization dosimeter. Doses and effective energies measured by OSLD correlated well with those of the reference ionization dosimeter. (dose: y=0.971x, r=0.999, effective energy: y=0.990x, r=0.994). It was suggested that OSLD could simultaneously and correctly measure both patient skin dose and effective energy. Patient skin dose rate and effective energy for 15 IVR units of 10 hospitals were investigated using OSLD and a water phantom for automatic brightness control fluoroscopy. The measurement was performed at the surface of a water phantom that was located on the interventional reference point, and source image intensifier distance was fixed to 100 cm. When the 9-inch field size was selected, the average patient skin dose rate was 16.3±8.1 mGy/min (3.6-32.0 mGy/min), the average effective energy was 34.6±4.1 keV (30.5-42.5 keV). As a result, it was suggested that QA should be performed not only for patient dose but also for effective energy. QA of equipment is integral to maintaining consistently appropriate doses. Consequently, the dosimetry of each IVR unit should be regularly executed to estimate the outline of patient skin dose. It was useful to investigate patient skin dose/effective energy with the passive integrating dosimeter for IVR equipment.