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Mol Imaging Biol. 2010 Aug;12(4):427-34. doi: 10.1007/s11307-009-0281-5. Epub 2009 Nov 25.

Myocardial perfusion imaging is feasible for infarct size quantification in mice using a clinical single-photon emission computed tomography system equipped with pinhole collimators.

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  • 1Department of Nuclear Medicine, University of Munich, Munich, Germany.

Erratum in

  • Mol Imaging Biol. 2010 Jun;12(3):359. Müller-Höcker, Josef [added].



The aim of this study is to evaluate a non-invasive method for measuring myocardial perfusion defect size in mice using a clinical single-photon emission computed tomography system equipped with pinhole collimators (pinhole SPECT).


Thirty days after ligation of the left anterior descending coronary artery, 13 mice (C57BL/6J) were imaged following intravenous injection of 370 MBq [99mTc]sestamibi. Eight control mice without myocardial infarction were likewise investigated. Image quality optimization had been achieved by repeated scanning of a multiple point phantom, with varying zoom factors, number of projection angles, and pinhole diameter. Volumetric sampling was used to generate polar maps, in which intensity was normalized to that of a standard septal region of interest (ROI), which was set at 100%. Receiver operating characteristic analyses were performed to define an optimal threshold as compared to histologically measured defect sizes, which were considered as gold standard.


A spatial resolution of 1.9 mm was achieved using a pinhole diameter of 0.5 mm, a zoom factor of 2, and 6 degrees projection angles. Histological results were best reproduced by a 60% threshold relative to the septal reference ROI. By applying this threshold, SPECT perfusion defect sizes revealed very high correlation to the histological results (R(2) = 0.867) with excellent intra- and interobserver reproducibility (intraclass correlation coefficients of 0.84 and 0.82).


We achieved a spatial resolution of 1.9 mm in myocardial perfusion imaging in mice using a clinical SPECT system mounted with pinhole collimators. Compared to a histological gold standard, the infarct sizes were accurately estimated, indicating that this method shows promise to monitor experimental cardiac interventions in mice.

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