While quantitation is the norm in PET, it is not widely available yet in SPECT. This work's aim was to calibrate a commercially available SPECT/CT system to perform quantitative SPECT. Counting sensitivity, dead-time (DT) constant and partial volume effect (PVE) of the system were assessed.
A dual-head Siemens SymbiaT6 SPECT/CT camera equipped with low energy high-resolution collimators was studied. 99mTc was the radioisotope of interest because of its wide usage in nuclear medicine. First, point source acquisitions were performed (activity: 30–990MBq). Further acquisitions were then performed with a uniform Jaszczak phantom filled with water at high activity (25–5000MBq). PVE was studied using 6 hot spheres (diameters: 9.9–31.2 mm) filled with 99mTc (2.8MBq/cc) in the Jaszczak phantom, which was: (1) empty, (2) water-filled and (3) water-filled with low activity (0.1MBq/cc). The data was reconstructed with the Siemens's Flash3D iterative algorithm with 4 subsets and 8 iterations, attenuation-correction (AC) and scatter-correction (SC). DT modelling was based on the total spectrum counting rate. Sensitivity was assessed using AC-SC reconstructed SPECT data.
Sensitivity and DT for the sources were 99.51±1.46cps/MBq and 0.60±0.04µs. For the phantom, sensitivity and DT were 109.9±2.3cps/MBq and 0.62±0.13µs. The recovery-coefficient varied from 5% for the 9.9mm, to 80% for the 31.2mm spheres.
With our calibration methods, both sensitivity and DT constant of the SPECT camera had little dependence on the object geometry and attenuation. For small objects of known size, recovery-coefficient can be applied to correct PVE. Clinical quantitative SPECT appears to be possible and has many potential applications.