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THE QUARTERLY JOURNAL OF NUCLEAR MEDICINE AND MOLECULAR IMAGING

A Journal on Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging


A Journal on Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
Affiliated to the Society of Radiopharmaceutical Sciences and to the International Research Group of Immunoscintigraphy
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The Quarterly Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging 2009 June;53(3):343-7

language: English

Advances in SPECT imaging with respect to radionuclide therapy

D’Asseler Y.

Department of Nuclear Medicine MEDISIP, Medical Imaging and Signal Processing Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium


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Radionuclide therapy is gradually becoming more important as a therapy option in various diseases. Nuclear medicine imaging plays an important role in this, before, during and after the therapy. Single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) imaging can be used to predict therapy response, calculate doses delivered to the tumour and the surrounding organ, check radiopharmaceutical distribution and follow-up this distribution in time. On a technological level, radionuclide imaging in a therapy setting shows some particularities and issues to be resolved. Accurate quantification is important but is hampered by attenuation, scatter from different energy peaks and from bremsstrahlung photons, septal penetration, partial volume effects etc. Some of these issues are discussed in this paper. A technique specific for therapy imaging is bremsstrahlung imaging, which can be used if the therapeutical agent is a pure beta emitter. Quantitative bremsstrahlung imaging is particularly challenging due to the complicated nature of the energy spectrum of these photons. Some work towards quantitative bremsstrahlung imaging is discussed here. Finally, some recent technical advances relevant to this field are pointed out. On the software side, Monte Carlo simulations seem to have a great potential for accurate quantitative SPECT reconstruction and subsequent patient specific image based dose calculations. Concerning hardware, the availability of SPECT-CT technology may have a large impact in imaging in radionuclide therapy. Novel detector technologies such as solid-state detectors may also prove to have significant advantages in this field.

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