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Phys Med Biol. 1998 Feb;43(2):407-20.

Reducing the influence of the partial volume effect on SPECT activity quantitation with 3D modelling of spatial resolution in iterative reconstruction.

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  • 1University of Massachusetts Medical Center, Worcester 01655, USA.


Quantitative parameters such as the maximum and total counts in a volume are influenced by the partial volume effect. The magnitude of this effect varies with the non-stationary and anisotropic spatial resolution in SPECT slices. The objective of this investigation was to determine whether iterative reconstruction which includes modelling of the three-dimensional (3D) spatial resolution of SPECT imaging can reduce the impact of the partial volume effect on the quantitation of activity compared with filtered backprojection (FBP) techniques which include low-pass, and linear restoration filtering using the frequency distance relationship (FDR). The iterative reconstruction algorithms investigated were maximum-likelihood expectation-maximization (MLEM), MLEM with ordered subset acceleration (ML-OS), and MLEM with acceleration by the rescaled-block-iterative technique (ML-RBI). The SIMIND Monte Carlo code was used to simulate small hot spherical objects in an elliptical cylinder with and without uniform background activity as imaged by a low-energy ultra-high-resolution (LEUHR) collimator. Centre count ratios (CCRs) and total count ratios (TCRs) were determined as the observed counts over true counts. CCRs were unstable while TCRs had a bias of approximately 10% for all iterative techniques. The variance in the TCRs for ML-OS and ML-RBI was clearly elevated over that of MLEM, with ML-RBI having the smaller elevation. TCRs obtained with FDR-Wiener filtering had a larger bias (approximately 30%) than any of the iterative reconstruction methods but near stationarity is also reached. Butterworth filtered results varied by 9.7% from the centre to the edge. The addition of background has an influence on the convergence rate and noise properties of iterative techniques.

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