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J Appl Clin Med Phys. 2014 Nov 8;15(6):4936. doi: 10.1120/jacmp.v15i6.4936.

Performance evaluation of a newly developed high-resolution, dual-head animal SPECT system based on the NEMA NU1-2007 standard.

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Research Center for Molecular and Cellular Imaging, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Department of Radiation Medicine Engineering.


Small-animal single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) system plays an important role in the field of drug development and investigation of potential drugs in the preclinical phase. The small-animal High-Resolution SPECT (HiReSPECT) scanner has been recently designed and developed based on compact and high-resolution detectors. The detectors are based on a high-resolution parallel hole collimator, a cesium iodide (sodium-activated) pixelated crystal array and two H8500 position-sensitive photomultiplier tubes. In this system, a full set of data cor- rections such as energy, linearity, and uniformity, together with resolution recovery option in reconstruction algorithms, are available. In this study, we assessed the performance of the system based on NEMA-NU1-2007 standards for pixelated detector cameras. Characterization of the HiReSPECT was performed by measure- ment of the physical parameters including planar and tomographic performance. The planar performance of the system was characterized with flood-field phantom for energy resolution and uniformity. Spatial resolution and sensitivity were evaluated as functions of distance with capillary tube and cylindrical source, respectively. Tomographic spatial resolution was characterized as a function of radius of rotation (ROR). A dedicated hot rod phantom and image quality phantom was used for the evaluation of overall tomographic quality of the HiReSPECT. The results showed that the planar spatial resolution was ~ 1.6 mm and ~ 2.3 mm in terms of full-width at half-maximum (FWHM) along short- and long-axis dimensions, respectively, when the source was placed on the detector surface. The integral uniformity of the system after uniformity correction was 1.7% and 1.2% in useful field of view (UFOV) and central field of view (CFOV), respectively. System sensitivity on the collimator surface was 1.31 cps/μCi and didn't vary significantly with distance. Mean tomographic spatial resolution was measured ~ 1.7 mm FWHM at the radius of rotation of 25 mm with dual-head configuration.The measured performance demonstrated that the HiReSPECT scanner has acceptable image quality and, hence, is well suited for preclinical molecular imaging research.

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