Nuclear medicine physics
Deformable left-ventricle mesh model for motion-compensated filtering in cardiac gated SPECT
In this article, the authors present a motion-compensated spatiotemporal processing algorithm to reduce noise in cardiac gated SPECT. Cardiac gated SPECT data are particularly noisy because the acquired photon data are divided among a number of time frames (gates). Classical spatial reconstruction and processing techniques offer noise reduction but they are usually applied on each frame separately and fail to utilize temporal correlation between frames.
In this work, the authors present a motion-compensated spatiotemporal postreconstruction filter offering noise reduction while minimizing motion-blur artifacts. The proposed method can be used regardless of the type of image-reconstruction method (analytical or iterative). The between-frame volumetric myocardium motion is estimated using a deformable mesh model based on the model of the myocardial surfaces. The estimated motion is then used to perform spatiotemporal filtering along the motion trajectories. Both the motion-estimation and spatiotemporal filtering methods seek to maintain the wall brightening seen during cardiac contraction. Wall brightening is caused by the partial volume effect, which is usually viewed as an artifact; however, wall brightening is a useful signature in clinical practice because it allows the clinician to visualize wall thickening. Therefore, the authors seek in their method to preserve the brightening effect.
The authors find that the proposed method offers better noise reduction than several existing methods as quantitatively evaluated by signal-to-noise ratio, bias-variance plots, and ejection fraction analysis as well as on tested clinical data.
The proposed method mitigates for noise in cardiac gated SPECT images using a postreconstruction motion-compensated filtering approach. Visual as well as quantitative evaluation show considerable improvement in image quality.