Simultaneous technetium-99m/thallium-201 SPECT imaging with model-based compensation for cross-contaminating effects

Dan J. Kadrmas, Eric C. Frey, Benjamin M.W. Tsui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Simultaneous acquisition of dual-isotope SPECT data offers a number of advantages over separately acquired data; however, simultaneous acquisition can result in cross-contamination between isotopes. In this work we propose and evaluate two frameworks for iterative model-based compensation of cross- contamination in dual-isotope SPECT. The methods were applied to cardiac imaging with technetium-99m-sestamibi and thallium-201, and they were compared with a subtraction-based compensation method using a cross-talk estimate obtained from an auxiliary energy window. Monte Carlo simulations were performed to carefully study aspects of bias and noise for the methods, and a torso phantom with cardiac insert was used to evaluate the performance of the methods for experimentally acquired data. The cross-talk compensation methods substantially improved lesion contrast and significantly reduced quantitative errors for simultaneously acquired data. Thallium image normalized mean square error (NMSE) was reduced from 0.522 without cross- talk compensation to as low as 0.052 with model-based cross-talk compensation. This is compared with a NMSE of 0.091 for the subtraction- based compensation method. The application of a preliminary model for cross- talk arising from lead fluorescence x-rays and collimator scatter gave promising results, and the future development of a more accurate model for collimator interactions would probably benefit simultaneous Tc/Tl imaging. Model-based compensation methods provide feasible cross-talk compensation in clinically acceptable times, and they may ultimately make simultaneous dual- isotope protocols an effective alternative for many imaging procedures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1843-1860
Number of pages18
JournalPhysics in medicine and biology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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