Quantitative Monte Carlo-based 90Y SPECT reconstruction

Elschot, Mattijs, Lam, Marnix G E H, van den Bosch, Maurice A A J, Viergever, Max A, de Jong, Hugo W A M


Journal of Nuclear Medicine 54 (9), p. 1557-1563


The evaluation of radiation absorbed doses in tumorous and healthy tissues is of increasing interest for (90)Y microsphere radioembolization of liver malignancies. The objectives of this work were to introduce and validate a new reconstruction method for quantitative (90)Y bremsstrahlung SPECT to improve posttreatment dosimetry.

METHODS: A fast Monte Carlo simulator was adapted for (90)Y and incorporated into a statistical reconstruction algorithm (SPECT-MC). Photon scatter and attenuation for all photons sampled from the full (90)Y energy spectrum were modeled during reconstruction by Monte Carlo simulations. The energy- and distance-dependent collimator-detector response was modeled with precalculated convolution kernels. The National Electrical Manufacturers Association 2007/International Electrotechnical Commission 2008 image quality phantom was used to quantitatively evaluate the performance of SPECT-MC in comparison with those of state-of-the-art clinical SPECT reconstruction and PET. The liver radiation absorbed doses estimated by SPECT, PET, and SPECT-MC were evaluated in 5 patients consecutively treated with radioembolization.

RESULTS: In comparison with state-of-the-art clinical (90)Y SPECT reconstruction, SPECT-MC substantially improved image contrast (e.g., from 25% to 88% for the 37-mm sphere) and decreased the mean residual count error in the lung insert (from 73% to 15%) at the cost of higher image noise. Image noise and the mean count error were lower for SPECT-MC than for PET. Image contrast was higher in the larger spheres (diameter of ≥28 mm) but lower in the smaller spheres (≤22 mm) for SPECT-MC than for PET. In the clinical study, mean absorbed dose estimates in liver regions with high absorbed doses were consistently higher for SPECT-MC than for SPECT (P = 0.0625) and consistently higher for SPECT-MC than for PET (P = 0.0625).

CONCLUSION: The quantitative accuracy of (90)Y bremsstrahlung SPECT is substantially improved by Monte Carlo-based modeling of the image-degrading factors. Consequently, (90)Y bremsstrahlung SPECT may be used as an alternative to (90)Y PET.