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Radius dependence of FP-CIT quantification: a Monte Carlo-based simulation study

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Dopamine transporter imaging with SPECT is a valuable tool for both clinical routine and research studies. Semi-quantitative analysis plays a key role in interpreting the scans, but is dependent on numerous factors, rotational radius being one of them. This study systematically evaluates the potential influence of radius of rotation on apparent tracer binding and describes methods for correction.


Monte Carlo simulation scans of a digital brain phantom with various disease states and various radii of rotation ranging from 13 to 30 cm were analyzed using 4 different methods of semi-quantification. Different volumes of interest as well as a method with partial volume correction were applied.


For conventional 3D semi-quantification methods the decrease of measured striatal binding per cm additional radius rotation lied in the range between 2.5 and 3.1 %, whereas effects were negligible when applying recovery-corrected quantification. Effects were independent of disease state.


Partial volume effects with increasing radius of rotation can lead to considerable decrease of measured binding ratios, particularly when applying dopamine transporter imaging in a research setting. Standardization of acquisition radius can avoid the effect; correction seems feasible, but the correction factors depend on the quantification approach applied.

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Dopamine transporter




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Ordered subset expectation maximization


Region of interest


Single photon emission computed tomography


Volume of interest


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We would like to thank Dr. rer. nat. Dipl.-Inf. Hanno Schumacher (MiE Germany) for providing insights in the MiE implementation of OSEM reconstruction and filtering as well as providing information on how to transfer the Monte Carlo simulation data to the gamma camera system. Thanks also go to Michael Ljungberg for providing the SIMIND Monte Carlo program.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Correspondence to Walter Koch.

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Koch, W., Bartenstein, P. & la Fougère, C. Radius dependence of FP-CIT quantification: a Monte Carlo-based simulation study. Ann Nucl Med 28, 103–111 (2014).

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