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1.  Intravenous contrast-enhanced CT can be used for CT-based attenuation correction in clinical 111In-octreotide SPECT/CT 
EJNMMI Physics  2015;2:3.
CT-based attenuation correction (CT-AC) using contrast-enhancement CT impacts 111In-SPECT image quality and quantification. In this study we assessed and evaluated the effect.
A phantom (5.15 L) was filled with an aqueous solution of In-111. Three SPECT/CT scans were performed: (A) no IV contrast, (B) with 100-mL IV contrast, and (C) with 200-mL IV contrast added. Scan protocol included a localization CT, a low-dose CT (LD), and a full-dose CT (FD). Phantom, LD and FD scan series were performed at 90, 120, and 140 kVp. Phantom data were evaluated looking at mean counts in a central volume.
Ten patients referred for 111In-octreotide scintigraphy were scanned according to our clinical 111In-SPECT/CT protocol including a topogram, a LD (140 kVp), and a FD (120 kVp). The FD/contrast-enhanced CT was acquired in both arterial (FDAP) and venous phase (FDVP) following a mono-phasic IV injection of 125-mL Optiray (4.5 mL/s). For patient data, we report image quality, Krenning scores, and mean/max values for liver and tumor regions.
Phantoms: in uncorrected emission data, mean counts (average ± SD) decreased with increasing IV concentration: (A) 119 ± 9, (B) 113 ± 8, and (C) 110 ± 9. For all attenuation correction (AC) scans, the mean values increased with increasing iodine concentration.
Patients: there were no visible artifacts in single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) following CT-AC with contrast-enhanced CT. The average score of image quality was 4.1 ± 0.3, 3.8 ± 0.4, and 4.2 ± 0.4 for LD, arterial phase, and venous phase, respectively.
A total of 16 lesions were detected. The Krenning scores of 13/16 lesions were identical across all scan series. The max pixel values for the 16 lesions showed generally lower values for LD than for contrast-enhanced CT.
In 111In-SPECT/CT imaging of phantoms and patients, the use of IV CT contrast did neither degrade the SPECT image quality nor affect the clinical Krenning score. Reconstructed counts in healthy liver tissues were unaffected, and there was a generally lower count value in lesions following CT-AC based on the LD non-enhanced images. Overall, for clinical interpretation, no separate low-dose CT is required for CT-AC in 111In-SPECT/CT.
PMCID: PMC4545801  PMID: 26501805
Combined SPECT/CT; Attenuation correction; CT contrast agents
2.  PET/MR in oncology: an introduction with focus on MR and future perspectives for hybrid imaging 
After more than 20 years of research, a fully integrated PET/MR scanner was launched in 2010 enabling simultaneous acquisition of PET and MR imaging. Currently, no clinical indication for combined PET/MR has been established, however the expectations are high. In this paper we will discuss some of the challenges inherent in this new technology, but focus on potential applications for simultaneous PET/MR in the field of oncology. Methods and tracers for use with the PET technology will be familiar to most readers of this journal; thus this paper aims to provide a short and basic introduction to a number of different MRI techniques, such as DWI-MR (diffusion weighted imaging MR), DCE-MR (dynamic contrast enhanced MR), MRS (MR spectroscopy) and MR for attenuation correction of PET. All MR techniques presented in this paper have shown promising results in the treatment of patients with solid tumors and could be applied together with PET increasing the amount of information about the tissues of interest. The potential clinical benefit of applying PET/MR in staging, radiotherapy planning and treatment evaluation in oncology, as well as the research perspectives for the use of PET/MR in the development of new tracers and drugs will be discussed.
PMCID: PMC3484424  PMID: 23145362
PET/MR; oncology; diagnosis; staging; therapy evaluation; radiotherapy planning; molecular imaging
3.  Experimental determination of the weighting factor for the energy window subtraction–based downscatter correction for I-123 in brain SPECT studies 
Correction for downscatter in I-123 SPECT can be performed by the subtraction of a secondary energy window from the main window, as in the triple-energy window method. This is potentially noise sensitive. For studies with limited amount of counts (e.g. dynamic studies), a broad subtraction window with identical width is preferred. This secondary window needs to be weighted with a factor higher than one, due to a broad backscatter peak from high-energy photons appearing at 172 keV. Spatial dependency and the numerical value of this weighting factor and the image contrast improvement of this correction were investigated in this study. Energy windows with a width of 32 keV were centered at 159 keV and 200 keV. The weighting factor was measured both with an I-123 point source and in a dopamine transporter brain SPECT study in 10 human subjects (5 healthy subjects and 5 patients) by minimizing the background outside the head. Weighting factors ranged from 1.11 to 1.13 for the point source and from 1.16 to 1.18 for human subjects. Point source measurements revealed no position dependence. After correction, the measured specific binding ratio (image contrast) increased significantly for healthy subjects, typically by more than 20%, while the background counts outside of all subjects were effectively removed. A weighting factor of 1.1–1.2 can be applied in clinical practice. This correction effectively removes downscatter and significantly improves image contrast inside the brain.
PMCID: PMC2990116  PMID: 21170186
weighting factors; downscatter correction; SPECT; iodine-123; energy window subtraction
4.  Improving quantitative dosimetry in 177Lu-DOTATATE SPECT by energy window-based scatter corrections 
Nuclear Medicine Communications  2014;35(5):522-533.
Patient-specific dosimetry of lutetium-177 (177Lu)-DOTATATE treatment in neuroendocrine tumours is important, because uptake differs across patients. Single photon emission computer tomography (SPECT)-based dosimetry requires a conversion factor between the obtained counts and the activity, which depends on the collimator type, the utilized energy windows and the applied scatter correction techniques. In this study, energy window subtraction-based scatter correction methods are compared experimentally and quantitatively.
Materials and methods
177Lu SPECT images of a phantom with known activity concentration ratio between the uniform background and filled hollow spheres were acquired for three different collimators: low-energy high resolution (LEHR), low-energy general purpose (LEGP) and medium-energy general purpose (MEGP). Counts were collected in several energy windows, and scatter correction was performed by applying different methods such as effective scatter source estimation (ESSE), triple-energy and dual-energy window, double-photopeak window and downscatter correction. The intensity ratio between the spheres and the background was measured and corrected for the partial volume effect and used to compare the performance of the methods.
Low-energy collimators combined with 208 keV energy windows give rise to artefacts. For the 113 keV energy window, large differences were observed in the ratios for the spheres. For MEGP collimators with the ESSE correction technique, the measured ratio was close to the real ratio, and the differences between spheres were small.
For quantitative 177Lu imaging MEGP collimators are advised. Both energy peaks can be utilized when the ESSE correction technique is applied. The difference between the calculated and the real ratio is less than 10% for both energy windows.
PMCID: PMC3969156  PMID: 24525900
177Lu; comparison; dosimetry; DOTATATE; energy windows; scatter correction; SPECT

Results 1-4 (4)