In recent years, there has been much interest in the clinical application of attenuation compensation to myocardial perfusion single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) with the promise that accurate quantitative images can be obtained to improve clinical diagnoses. The different attenuation compensation methods that are available create confusion and some misconceptions. Also, attenuation-compensated images reveal other image-degrading effects including collimator-detector blurring and scatter that are not apparent in uncompensated images. This article presents basic concepts of the major factors that degrade the quality and quantitative accuracy of myocardial perfusion SPECT images, and includes a discussion of the various image reconstruction and compensation methods and misconceptions and pitfalls in implementation. The differences between the various compensation methods and their performance are demonstrated. Particular emphasis is directed to an approach that promises to provide quantitative myocardial perfusion SPECT images by accurately compensating for the 3-dimensional (3-D) attenuation, collimator-detector response, and scatter effects. With advances in the computer hardware and optimized implementation techniques, quantitatively accurate and high-quality myocardial perfusion SPECT images can be obtained in clinically acceptable processing time. Examples from simulation, phantom, and patient studies are used to demonstrate the various aspects of the investigation. We conclude that quantitative myocardial perfusion SPECT, which holds great promise to improve clinical diagnosis, is an achievable goal in the near future.
- Attenuation compensation
- Collimator-detector response compensation
- Scatter compensation
- Single photon emission computed tomography
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine