MLEM algorithm adaptation for improved SPECT scintimammography

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Conference Proceeding

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Standard MLEM and OSEM algorithms used in SPECT Tc-99m sestamibi scintimammography produce hot-spot artifacts (HSA) at the image support peripheries. We investigated a suitable adaptation of MLEM and OSEM algorithms needed to reduce HSA. Patients with suspicious breast lesions were administered 10 mCi of Tc-99m sestamibi and SPECT scans were acquired for patients in prone position with uncompressed breasts. In addition, to simulate breast lesions, some patients were imaged with a number of breast skin markers each containing 1 μCi of Tc-99m. In order to reduce HSA in reconstruction, we removed from the backprojection step the rays that traverse the periphery of the support region on the way to a detector bin, when their path length through this region was shorter than some critical length. Such very short paths result in a very low projection counts contributed to the detector bin, and consequently to overestimation of the activity in the peripheral voxels in the backprojection step - thus creating HSA. We analyzed the breast-lesion contrast and suppression of HSA in the images reconstructed using standard and modified MLEM and OSEM algorithms vs. critical path length (CPL). For CPL ≥ 0.01 pixel size, we observed improved breast-lesion contrast and lower noise in the reconstructed images, and a very significant reduction of HSA in the maximum intensity projection (MIP) images.

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Progress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE

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