Design and development of MR-compatible SPECT systems for simultaneous SPECT-MR imaging of small animals

Benjamin M.W. Tsui, James W. Hugg, Jingyan Xu, Si Chen, Dirk Meier, William Edelstein, Abdel El-Sharkawy, Douglas J. Wagenaar, Bradley E. Patt

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

4 Scopus citations


We describe a continuing design and development of MR-compatible SPECT systems for simultaneous SPECT-MR imaging of small animals. A first generation prototype SPECT system was designed and constructed to fit inside a MRI system with a gradient bore inner diameter of 12 cm. It consists of 3 angularly offset rings of 8 detectors (1"x1", 16x16 pixels MR-compatible solid-state CZT). A matching 24-pinhole collimator sleeve, made of a tungsten-compound, provides projections from a common FOV of ∼25 mm. A birdcage RF coil for MRI data acquisition surrounds the collimator. The SPECT system was tested inside a clinical 3T MRI system. Minimal interference was observed on the simultaneously acquired SPECT and MR images. We developed a sparse-view image reconstruction method based on accurate modeling of the point response function (PRF) of each of the 24 pinholes to provide artifact-free SPECT images. The stationary SPECT system provides relatively low resolution of 3-5 mm but high geometric efficiency of 0.5- 1.2% for fast dynamic acquisition, demonstrated in a SPECT renal kinetics study using Tc-99m DTPA. Based on these results, a second generation prototype MR-compatible SPECT system with an outer diameter of 20 cm that fits inside a mid-sized preclinical MRI system is being developed. It consists of 5 rings of 19 CZT detectors. The larger ring diameter allows the use of optimized multi-pinhole collimator designs, such as high system resolution up to ∼1 mm, high geometric efficiency, or lower system resolution without collimator rotation. The anticipated performance of the new system is supported by simulation data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMedical Imaging 2011
Subtitle of host publicationPhysics of Medical Imaging
StatePublished - 2011
EventMedical Imaging 2011: Physics of Medical Imaging - Lake Buena Vista, FL, United States
Duration: Feb 13 2011Feb 17 2011

Publication series

NameProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)1605-7422


OtherMedical Imaging 2011: Physics of Medical Imaging
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityLake Buena Vista, FL


  • CZT detectors
  • dynamic SPECT
  • multi-modality
  • multi-pinhole collimator
  • small animal SPECT-MR

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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