Konstantinos Michael, Savvas Frangos, Ioannis Iakovou, Antonis Lontos, George Demosthenous, Yiannis Parpottas

The Impact of Dual and Triple Energy Window Scatter Correction on I-123 Postsurgical Thyroid SPECT/CT Imaging Using a Phantom with Small Sizes of Thyroid Remnants

  • Paleontology
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

I-123 is preferential over I-131 for diagnostic SPECT imaging after a thyroidectomy to determine the presence and size of residual thyroid tissue for radioiodine ablation. Scattering degrades the quality of I-123 SPECT images, primarily due to the penetration of high-energy photons into the main photopeak. The objective of this study was to quantitatively and qualitatively investigate the impact of two widely used window-based scatter correction techniques, the dual energy window (DEW) and triple energy window (TEW) techniques, in I-123 postsurgical SPECT/CT thyroid imaging using an anthropomorphic phantom with small sizes of remnants and anatomically correct surrounding structures. For this purpose, non-scatter-corrected, DEW and TEW scatter-corrected SPECT/CT acquisitions were performed for 0.5–10 mL remnants within a phantom, with 0.5–12.6 MBq administered activities within the remnants, and without and with background-to-remnant activity ratios of 5% and 10%. The decrease in photons, the noise and non-uniformity in the background region due to scatter correction were measured, as well as the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and the contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) from small remnants. The images were also visually evaluated by two experienced nuclear medicine physicians. Scatter correction decreased photons to a higher extent in larger regions than smaller regions. Larger remnants yielded higher SNR and CNR values, particularly at lower background activities. It was found from the quantitative analysis and the qualitative evaluation that TEW scatter correction performed better than DEW scatter correction, particularly at higher background activities, while no significant differences were reported at lower background activities. Scatter correction should be applied in I-123 postsurgical SPECT/CT imaging to improve the image contrast and detectability of small remnants within the background.

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