Objective: Statistical image analysis of brain SPECT images has improved diagnostic accuracy for brain disorders. However, the results of statistical analysis vary depending on the institution even when they use a common normal database (NDB), due to different intrinsic spatial resolutions or correction methods. The present study aimed to evaluate the correction of spatial resolution differences between equipment and examine the differences in skull bone attenuation to construct a common NDB for use in multicenter settings. Methods: The proposed acquisition and processing protocols were those routinely used at each participating center with additional triple energy window (TEW) scatter correction (SC) and computed tomography (CT) based attenuation correction (CTAC). A multicenter phantom study was conducted on six imaging systems in five centers, with either single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) or SPECT/CT, and two brain phantoms. The gray/white matter I-123 activity ratio in the brain phantoms was 4, and they were enclosed in either an artificial adult male skull, 1300 Hounsfield units (HU), a female skull, 850 HU, or an acrylic cover. The cut-off frequency of the Butterworth filters was adjusted so that the spatial resolution was unified to a 17.9 mm full width at half maximum (FWHM), that of the lowest resolution system. The gray-to-white matter count ratios were measured from SPECT images and compared with the actual activity ratio. In addition, mean, standard deviation and coefficient of variation images were calculated after normalization and anatomical standardization to evaluate the variability of the NDB. Results: The gray-to-white matter count ratio error without SC and attenuation correction (AC) was significantly larger for higher bone densities (p < 0.05). The count ratio error with TEW and CTAC was approximately 5% regardless of bone density. After adjustment of the spatial resolution in the SPECT images, the variability of the NDB decreased and was comparable to that of the NDB without correction. Conclusion: The proposed protocol showed potential for constructing an appropriate common NDB from SPECT images with SC, AC and spatial resolution compensation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging