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Keywords:

  • pinhole SPECT;
  • myocardial perfusion imaging;
  • quantification;
  • partial volume effect

Absolute quantification using single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) was demonstrated in vitro and in large immobile organs in vivo. To determine the feasibility of in vivo quantification of myocardial perfusion in pinhole gated SPECT, we added an ultrasound derived partial volume correction factor to attenuation and scatter corrections, in combination with gated acquisitions. In nine male Wistar rats, cardiac ultrasound was performed prior to SPECT/CT scans to determine the myocardial wall thickness. SPECT/CT scans were then performed 30 min after injection of 99mTc Tetrofosmin. Animals were killed and six midventricular segments of the left ventricle were excised and counted in a γ-well counter. Using AMIDE, regional myocardial activity was measured after combined scatter correction (SC) and attenuation correction (AC). These image derived activities were compared with the ex vivo counted activity. To correct for the partial volume effect, a recovery coefficient was determined from a phantom study, to determine the thickness specific partial volume effect. Combined AC and SC led to a significant underestimation of activity compared with ex vivo data (root mean squared error = 0.145 mCi g−1). The recovery coefficient calculated from the phantom study showed a linear relationship with object size from 1 to 6 mm, positioned in the vicinity of the center of the field of view (R2 = 0.98). Correction of nongated SPECT images with a recovery coefficient derived from the diastolic phase results in a global overestimation with root mean squared error = 0.04 mCi g−1. Nongated SPECT images corrected with a recovery coefficient with a weighted average ratio diastolic and systolic phase led to an improved root mean squared error of 0.03 mCi g−1. Combining attenuation correction with scatter correction and a gated partial volume correction yields the best correlation with ex vivo counting (root mean squared error = 0.021 mCi g−1 (systolic) and 0.025 mCi g−1 (diastolic). This study demonstrates a method for improved segmental myocardial perfusion quantification in pinhole gated SPECT, using combined attenuation-, scatter- and ultrasound-derived partial volume effect corrections. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.