Optimization and comparison of simultaneous and separate acquisition protocols for dual isotope myocardial perfusion SPECT

Michael Ghaly, Jonathan M. Links, Eric C Frey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Dual-isotope simultaneous-acquisition (DISA) rest-stress myocardial perfusion SPECT (MPS) protocols offer a number of advantages over separate acquisition. However, crosstalk contamination due to scatter in the patient and interactions in the collimator degrade image quality. Compensation can reduce the effects of crosstalk, but does not entirely eliminate image degradations. Optimizing acquisition parameters could further reduce the impact of crosstalk. In this paper we investigate the optimization of the rest Tl-201 energy window width and relative injected activities using the ideal observer (IO), a realistic digital phantom population and Monte Carlo (MC) simulated Tc-99m and Tl-201 projections as a means to improve image quality. We compared performance on a perfusion defect detection task for Tl-201 acquisition energy window widths varying from 4 to 40 keV centered at 72 keV for a camera with a 9% energy resolution. We also investigated 7 different relative injected activities, defined as the ratio of Tc-99m and Tl-201 activities, while keeping the total effective dose constant at 13.5 mSv. For each energy window and relative injected activity, we computed the IO test statistics using a Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) method for an ensemble of 1,620 triplets of fixed and reversible defect-present, and defect-absent noisy images modeling realistic background variations. The volume under the 3-class receiver operating characteristic (ROC) surface (VUS) was estimated and served as the figure of merit. For simultaneous acquisition, the IO suggested that relative Tc-to-Tl injected activity ratios of 2.6-5 and acquisition energy window widths of 16-22% were optimal. For separate acquisition, we observed a broad range of optimal relative injected activities from 2.6 to 12.1 and acquisition energy window of widths 16-22%. A negative correlation between Tl-201 injected activity and the width of the Tl-201 energy window was observed in these ranges. The results also suggested that DISA methods could potentially provide image quality as good as that obtained with separate acquisition protocols. We compared observer performance for the optimized protocols and the current clinical protocol using separate acquisition. The current clinical protocols provided better performance at a cost of injecting the patient with approximately double the injected activity of Tc-99m and Tl-201, resulting in substantially increased radiation dose.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5083-5101
Number of pages19
JournalPhysics in medicine and biology
Issue number13
StatePublished - Jul 7 2015


  • Dual-isotope myocardial perfusion SPECT (MPS)
  • ideal observer
  • separate acquisition
  • simultaneous acquisition
  • task-based image quality assessment
  • three-class receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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