Impact of reconstruction parameters on quantitative I-131 SPECT

van Gils, C A J, Beijst, C, van Rooij, R, de Jong, H W A M


Physics in Medicine and Biology 61 (14), p. 5166-5182


Radioiodine therapy using I-131 is widely used for treatment of thyroid disease or neuroendocrine tumors. Monitoring treatment by accurate dosimetry requires quantitative imaging. The high energy photons however render quantitative SPECT reconstruction challenging, potentially requiring accurate correction for scatter and collimator effects. The goal of this work is to assess the effectiveness of various correction methods on these effects using phantom studies. A SPECT/CT acquisition of the NEMA IEC body phantom was performed. Images were reconstructed using the following parameters: (1) without scatter correction, (2) with triple energy window (TEW) scatter correction and (3) with Monte Carlo-based scatter correction. For modelling the collimator-detector response (CDR), both (a) geometric Gaussian CDRs as well as (b) Monte Carlo simulated CDRs were compared. Quantitative accuracy, contrast to noise ratios and recovery coefficients were calculated, as well as the background variability and the residual count error in the lung insert. The Monte Carlo scatter corrected reconstruction method was shown to be intrinsically quantitative, requiring no experimentally acquired calibration factor. It resulted in a more accurate quantification of the background compartment activity density compared with TEW or no scatter correction. The quantification error relative to a dose calibrator derived measurement was found to be  <1%,-26% and 33%, respectively. The adverse effects of partial volume were significantly smaller with the Monte Carlo simulated CDR correction compared with geometric Gaussian or no CDR modelling. Scatter correction showed a small effect on quantification of small volumes. When using a weighting factor, TEW correction was comparable to Monte Carlo reconstruction in all measured parameters, although this approach is clinically impractical since this factor may be patient dependent. Monte Carlo based scatter correction including accurately simulated CDR modelling is the most robust and reliable method to reconstruct accurate quantitative iodine-131 SPECT images.