, Volume 7, Issue 5, pp 414-425

Combined corrections for attenuation, depthdependent blur, and motion in cardiac SPECT: A multicenter trial

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Abstract

Background

The diagnostic accuracy of cardiac single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) is limited by image-degrading factors, such as heart or subject motion, depthdependent blurring caused by the collimator, and photon scatter and attenuation. We developed correction approaches for motion, depth-dependent blur, and attenuation and performed a multicenter validation.

Methods and Results

Motion was corrected both transversely and axially with a cross-correlation technique. Depth-dependent blurring was corrected by first back-projecting each projection and then applying a depth-dependent Wiener filter row by row. Attenuation was corrected with an iterative, nonuniform Chang algorithm, based on a transmission scan-generated attenuation map. We validated these approaches in 112 subjects, including 36 women (20 healthy volunteers, 8 angiographically normal patients, and 8 patients with coronary artery disease [CAD]found by means of angiography) and 76 men (23 healthy volunteers, 10 angiographically normal patients, and 43 patients with CAD found by means of angiography). Either technetium 99m or thallium 201 was used for emission; either gadolinium 153 or Tc-99m was used for transmission. Images were reconstructed and blindly interpreted with a 5-point scale for receiver operating characteristic analysis in 2 ways: motion correction plus a Butterworth filter, and combined motion and blur and attenuation corrections. The interpretation by means of consensus was for the overall presence of CAD and vascular territory. The receiver operating characteristic curves for overall presence and each of the 3 main coronary arteries were all shifted upward and to the left and had larger areas under the curve, for combined corrections compared with motion correction and Butterworth. Sensitivity/specificity for motion correction and Butterworth were 84/69, 64/71, 32/94, and 71/81 overall for the left anterior descending, the right coronary artery, and circumflex territories, respectively, compared with 88/92, 77/93, 50/97, and 74/95, respectively, for the combined corrections.

Conclusions

The proposed combined corrections for motion, depth-dependent blur, and attenuation significantly improve diagnostic accuracy, when compared with motion correction alone.

Supported in part by an unrestricted gift from SMV America.