Imaging Techniques

  • Dudley J. Pennell
  • S. Richard Underwood
  • Durval C. Costa
  • Peter J. Ell


Almost without exception, modern nuclear medicine images are acquired using a gamma camera based on the principles first suggested by Anger in 1957 (Fig. 4.1).1 The camera consists of a scintillation detector made of a single sodium iodide crystal which is typically between 200 mm and 500 mm diameter and between 6 and 20 mm thick. Behind the crystal are a number of photomultiplier tubes (up to 90 or 100) which are optically coupled to the surface of the crystal and which sense the scintillations arising whenever a gamma ray is absorbed by the crystal. The areas of crystal seen by the tubes overlap, but the location of each scintillation can be computed from the relative responses in each tube. The energy of the photons can also be measured from the response of the tubes, and the electrical output from the camera head to the imaging computer consists of x and y coordinates and photon energy (z) for each scintillation that is detected. In front of the crystal is a collimator which consists of a disc of lead penetrated by a honeycomb of holes. The holes allow only gamma rays that are travelling perpendicularly to the crystal face to enter the crystal and in this way the gamma photons absorbed by the crystal form an image of the distribution of radionuclide in front of the camera.


Single Photon Emission Compute Tomography Myocardial Perfusion Tomography Gamma Camera Gamma Photon Cardiac Blood Pool 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Anger H. Scintillation camera. The review of scientific instruments 1958;29:27–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Kuhl DE, Edwards RQ. Image separation radioisotope scanning. Radiology 1963;80:653–61.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Hounsfield GN. Computerised transverse axial scanning (tomography). 1 Description of system. Br J Radiol 1973;46:1016–22.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Ambrose J. Computerised transverse axial scanning (tomography). 2 Clinical application. Br J Radiol 1973;46:1023–47.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Moore ML, Murphy PH, Burdine JA. ECG-gated emission computed tomography of the cardiac blood pool. Radiology 1980;134:233–5.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Maublant J, Bailly P, Mestas D et al. Feasibility of gated single-photon emission transaxial tomography of the cardiac blood pool. Radiology 1983;146:837–9.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Tamaki N, Mukai T, Ishii Y et al. Multiaxial tomography of heart chambers by gated blood-pool emission computed tomography using a rotating gamma camera. Radiology 1983;147: 547–54.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Underwood SR, Walton S, Ell PJ, Jarritt PH, Emanuel RW, Swanton RH. Gated blood-pool emission tomography: a new technique for the investigation of cardiac structure and function. Eur J Nucl Med 1985;10:332–7.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Ell PJ, Holman BL. Computed emission tomography. Oxford: Oxford Medical Publications, 1982.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Ell PJ, Jarritt PH. Gamma camera emission tomography: quality control and clinical applications. London: Chapman and Hall, 1984.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Hoffman EJ. 180° compared with 360° sampling in SPECT. J Nucl Med 1982;23:745–7.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Coleman RE, Jaszczak RJ, Cobb FR. Comparison of 180 deg and 360 deg data collection in thallium-201 imaging using single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT). J Nucl Med 1982;23:655–60.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Go RT, McIntyre WJ, Houser TS et al. Clinical evaluation of 360° and 180° data sampling techniques for transaxial SPECT thallium-201 myocardial perfusion imaging. J Nucl Med 1985;26:695–706.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Knesaurek K. Image distortion in 180° SPECT studies. J Nucl Med 1986;27:1792.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Penneil DJ, Underwood SR, Ell PJ, Swanton RH, Walker JM, Longmore DB. Dipyridamole magnetic resonance imaging: a comparison with thallium-201 emission tomography. Br Heart J 1990;64:362–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dudley J. Pennell
    • 1
  • S. Richard Underwood
    • 2
  • Durval C. Costa
    • 1
  • Peter J. Ell
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Nuclear MedicineUniversity College and Middlesex School of MedicineLondonUK
  2. 2.Royal Brompton National Heart and Lung InstituteLondonUK

Personalised recommendations