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18 March 2010 SPECT data acquisition and image reconstruction in a stationary small animal SPECT/MRI system
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The goal of the study was to investigate data acquisition strategies and image reconstruction methods for a stationary SPECT insert that can operate inside an MRI scanner with a 12 cm bore diameter for simultaneous SPECT/MRI imaging of small animals. The SPECT insert consists of 3 octagonal rings of 8 MR-compatible CZT detectors per ring surrounding a multi-pinhole (MPH) collimator sleeve. Each pinhole is constructed to project the field-of-view (FOV) to one CZT detector. All 24 pinholes are focused to a cylindrical FOV of 25 mm in diameter and 34 mm in length. The data acquisition strategies we evaluated were optional collimator rotations to improve tomographic sampling; and the image reconstruction methods were iterative ML-EM with and without compensation for the geometric response function (GRF) of the MPH collimator. For this purpose, we developed an analytic simulator that calculates the system matrix with the GRF models of the MPH collimator. The simulator was used to generate projection data of a digital rod phantom with pinhole aperture sizes of 1 mm and 2 mm and with different collimator rotation patterns. Iterative ML-EM reconstruction with and without GRF compensation were used to reconstruct the projection data from the central ring of 8 detectors only, and from all 24 detectors. Our results indicated that without GRF compensation and at the default design of 24 projection views, the reconstructed images had significant artifacts. Accurate GRF compensation substantially improved the reconstructed image resolution and reduced image artifacts. With accurate GRF compensation, useful reconstructed images can be obtained using 24 projection views only. This last finding potentially enables dynamic SPECT (and/or MRI) studies in small animals, one of many possible application areas of the SPECT/MRI system. Further research efforts are warranted including experimentally measuring the system matrix for improved geometrical accuracy, incorporating the co-registered MRI image in SPECT reconstruction, and exploring potential applications of the simultaneous SPECT/MRI SA system including dynamic SPECT studies.
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Jingyan Xu, Si Chen, Jianhua Yu, Dirk Meier, Douglas J. Wagenaar, Bradley E. Patt, and Benjamin M. W. Tsui "SPECT data acquisition and image reconstruction in a stationary small animal SPECT/MRI system", Proc. SPIE 7622, Medical Imaging 2010: Physics of Medical Imaging, 76220V (18 March 2010);

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