In the Medical Physics Department of the University of Insubria, Varese, Italy, a whole body counter is in use, for
clinical and radioprotection measurements. It consists of a scanning bed, four opposite (anterior-posterior and laterallateral)
NaI(Tl) detectors and a shielding based on the shadow-shield principle. By moving the bed on which the patient
lies in the supine position, the longitudinal profiles of the counts measured by each probe along the patient axis are
obtained. Making the assumption that radioactivity is distributed in N voxel sources located in N selected positions in
the patient, this distribution is calculated by solving an over-determined system of linear equations. The solution can be
calculated using different methods. An iterative method and a regularization technique are presented. The algorithm
proposed allows the evaluation of the distribution of the radioactivity in 3D in voxels with dimensions ranging from 15
to 20 mm, depending on the size of the patient. The 3D distribution of the radioactivity and the knowledge of the time
of the intake allow the assessment of the effective dose.
We have developed a software, which allows to do non conventional percent quantitative analysis on scintigraphic polar map obtained from conventional processing of gated-SPECT acquisitions. Polar maps are 8 bit images of perfusion, motion, ejection fraction (EF) and thickening, of the heart.
The software is written in Matlab, analyses the whole polar map and four ROIs corresponding to the theoretical LAD, LCX, RCA territories (perfused by these arteries) and extra-ROIs region. An intensity segmentation is performed. The area corresponding to pixels lower and higher than a varying cut-off are calculated on the whole image and for each ROI. The software calculates an intensity-area histogram, which is the analogous of the Dose-Volume Histogram used in radiation therapy: in this case, the histogram has the meaning of a Perfusion- or a Motion-Volume histogram. Then, the software applies the Lyman-Wolbarst algorithm, to calculate the area equivalent histogram reduction (e.g. the perfused area in the hypothesis that all pixels are perfused at 100%.). The makes a direct comparison between two different polar maps by choice. The comparison between the numerical quantification of motion and perfusion maps, allows the physicians to get a clinical evaluation of the stunned myocardium.
The planned target volume in intracoronary brachytherapy is the vessel wall. The success of the treatment is based on the need of delivering doses possibly not lower than 8 and not higher than 30 Gy.
An automatic procedure in order to acquire intravascular ultrasound images of the whole volume to be irradiated is pointed out; a motor driven pullback device, with velocity of the catheter of 0.5 and 1 mm/s allows to acquire the entire target volume of the vessel with a number of slices normally ranging from 400 to 1600.
A semiautomatic segmentation and classification of the different structures in each slice of the vessel is proposed. The segmentation and the classification of the structures allows the calculation of their volume; this is very useful in particular for plaque volume assessment in the follow-up of the patients. A 3D analyser tool was developed in order to visualize the walls and the lumen of the vessel. The knowledge, for each axial slice, of the position of the source (in the centre of the catheter) and the position of the target (vessel walls) allows the calculation of a set of source-target distances. Given a time of irradiation, and a type of source a dose volume histogram (DVH) describing the distribution of the doses in the whole target can be obtained. The whole procedure takes few minutes and then is compatible with a safe treatment of the patient, giving an important indication about the quality of the radiation treatment selected.