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Semin Nucl Med. 2010 Nov;40(6):455-66. doi: 10.1053/j.semnuclmed.2010.07.005.

SPECT/CT in V/Q scanning.

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  • 1Department of Nuclear Medicine, Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney, Australia.


Combining the functional data provided by single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) with the anatomical information provided by CT has been shown to improve overall diagnostic accuracy in many areas of nuclear medicine. Although planar lung scans have often relied on correlation with a chest x-ray to help optimize scan interpretation, the advent of 3D lung imaging with SPECT provides the opportunity to combine lung perfusion data with CT images. This can be done by performing the study on a hybrid SPECT/CT scanner, with the CT acquisition typically performed with the use of low-dose parameters, rather than full diagnostic quality settings, or by software fusion with a fully diagnostic CT or a contrast-enhanced CT pulmonary angiogram. Such an approach has been shown to improve specificity and overall accuracy of ventilation/perfusion scintigraphy as well as facilitating more accurate clot localization. With the increased availability of hybrid SPECT/CT scanners, such an approach can be implemented in most imaging departments with little additional acquisition time or radiation dose. Misregistration caused by respiratory motion can impact combined studies, although this can be minimized with attention to patient breathing patterns during image acquisition. For patients with lung cancer, ventilation/perfusion SPECT/CT may have a role in allowing the optimal selection of radiotherapy fields and can improve the preoperative quantification of lung function before resection.

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