Brain single-photon emission CT physics principles.
The basic principles of scintigraphy are reviewed and extended to 3D imaging. Single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) is a sensitive and specific 3D technique to monitor in vivo functional processes in both clinical and preclinical studies. SPECT/CT systems are becoming increasingly common and can provide accurately registered anatomic information as well. In general, SPECT is affected by low photon-collection efficiency, but in brain imaging, not all of the large FOV of clinical gamma cameras is needed: The use of fan- and cone-beam collimation trades off the unused FOV for increased sensitivity and resolution. The design of dedicated cameras aims at increased angular coverage and resolution by minimizing the distance from the patient. The corrections needed for quantitative imaging are challenging but can take advantage of the relative spatial uniformity of attenuation and scatter. Preclinical systems can provide submillimeter resolution in small animal brain imaging with workable sensitivity.DOI: 10.3174/ajnr.A1175