A Learned Reconstruction Network for SPECT Imaging

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A neural network designed specifically for single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) image reconstruction was developed. The network reconstructed activity images from SPECT projection data directly. Training was performed through a corpus of training data, including that derived from digital phantoms generated from custom software and the corresponding projection data obtained from simulation. When using the network to reconstruct images, input projection data were initially fed to two fully connected (FC) layers to perform a basic reconstruction. Then, the output of the FC layers and an attenuation map were delivered to five convolutional layers for signal-decay compensation and image optimization. To validate the system, data not used in training, simulated data from the Zubal human brain phantom, and clinical patient data were used to test reconstruction performance. Reconstructed images from the developed network proved closer to the truth with higher resolution and quantitative accuracy than those from conventional OS-EM reconstruction. To understand better the operation of the network for reconstruction, intermediate results from hidden layers were investigated for each step of the processing. The network system was also retrained with noisy projection data and compared with that developed with noise-free data. The retrained network proved even more robust after having learned to filter noise. Finally, we showed that the network still provided sharp images when using reduced view projection data (retrained with reduced view data).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number9091613
Pages (from-to)26-34
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Transactions on Radiation and Plasma Medical Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021


  • 2-D convolution
  • deep learning
  • image reconstruction
  • neural network
  • single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Instrumentation


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