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J Nucl Med. 2000 Jul;41(7):1287-97.

Intrinsic dual-energy processing of myocardial perfusion images.

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Physics Research Laboratory, University of California, San Francisco, USA.


We have developed a software-based method for processing dual-energy 201TI SPECT emission projection data with the goal of calculating a spatially dependent index of the local impact of gamma-ray attenuation. We refer to this method as intrinsic dual-energy processing (IDEP).


IDEP exploits the differential attenuation of lower energy emissions (69-83 keV) and higher energy emissions (167 keV) resulting from the decay of 201TI to characterize the relative degree of low-energy gamma-ray attenuation throughout the myocardium. In particular, IDEP can be used to estimate the relative probability that a low-energy gamma-ray emitted from a particular region of the myocardium is detected during the acquisition of SPECT projection data. Studies on phantoms and healthy human volunteers were performed to determine whether the IDEP method yielded detection probability images with systematic structure visible above the noise of these images and whether the systematic structure in the detection probability images could be rationalized physically. In patient studies, the relative regional detection probabilities were applied qualitatively to determine the likely effects of attenuation on the distribution of mapped photon emissions.


Measurements of the detection probability in uniform phantoms showed excellent agreement with those obtained from computer simulations for both 180 degrees and 360 degrees acquisitions. Additional simulations with digital phantoms showed good correlation between IDEP-estimated detection probabilities and calculated detection probabilities. In patient studies, the IDEP-derived detection probability maps showed qualitative agreement with known nonuniform attenuation characteristics of the human thorax. When IDEP data were integrated with the findings on the emission scan, the correlation with coronary anatomy (known in 6 patients and hypothesized on the basis of clinical and electrocardiographic parameters in 5 patients) was improved compared with evaluating the mapped emission image alone.


The IDEP method has the potential to characterize the attenuation properties of an object without use of a separate transmission scan. Coupled with the emission data, it may aid coronary diagnosis.

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