Since scattered photons carry degraded spatial information, scatter is typically considered a source of contamination in SPECT. However, with the advent of scatter modelling methods and reconstruction-based scatter compensation (RBSC), it may be possible to utilize scattered data in a productive manner. In this work we analyse the reconstructibility of scattered photon projection data and investigate the potential for using scattered photons to reduce the noise levels of SPECT images. We have simulated projection data for an elliptical phantom containing three cold rods in a uniform background of 99mTc activity. A variety of photopeak and scatter energy windows were formed, as well as corresponding RBSC transfer matrices. Each statistically weighted matrix was decomposed using SVD and analysed in terms of reconstructibility and noise properties. Results indicate that scattered photons contain sufficient information to reconstruct the source activity, but the scatter-only matrices are very poorly conditioned. We have also evaluated several methods of utilizing scattered events via RBSC, and compared them with other, idealized methods of handling scatter. It was found that scattered photons can be used productively when photopeak and non-photopeak data are separated through the use of multiple energy windows. The RBSC methods outperformed ideal scatter subtraction, but fell short of methods which assume perfect discrimination between scattered and primary events. The knowledge gained by this study may help guide future research and lead to better approaches to handling scatter in SPECT.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging