Optimum detector spatial resolution for discriminating between tumour uptake distributions in scintigraphy

B. M.W. Tsui, C. E. Metz, R. N. Beck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The optimum detector spatial resolution has been determined for a scintigraphic decision task which the observer must discriminate between two different distributions of radioactivity in tumours. The two kinds of tumour used are: (i) a solid sphere of increased uptake relative to background, and (ii) a thin spherical shell with high uptake in the shell and no radioactivity within the shell. Both tumours are embedded at the same depth within a cylinder of tissue-equivalent material containing a uniform distribution of radioactivity. On the basis of statistical decision theory, the optimum detector spatial resolution for discriminating between the two tumour activity distributions is predicted. The result of an observer performance experiment substantially agreed with the theoretical prediction, though some discrepancy was found, apparently due to a decrease in observer efficiency at poorer spatial resolution. The experimental result suggests that the optimum FWHM of detector spatial response for the discrimination task considered is about 65% of the tumour radius.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number001
Pages (from-to)775-788
Number of pages14
JournalPhysics in medicine and biology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jan 1 1983
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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