Low-dose Cardiac Imaging

Reducing Exposure But Not Accuracy

Gary R Small; Benjamin JW Chow; Terrence D Ruddy


Expert Rev Cardiovasc Ther. 2012;10(1):89-104. 

In This Article

Reducing Radiation Exposure in Nuclear Medicine by Novel Processing Techniques

Newly developed reconstruction algorithms are able to maintain image quality from SPECT studies, despite reducing the radiotracer dose. In an initial study examining the effects of low-dose clinical SPECT imaging using a novel wide-beam reconstruction algorithm, 156 patients with standard rest/stress 99mtechnetium-labelled radiotracer SPECT imaging were compared with 160 patients with half-dose-rest/half-dose-stress technetium. Image quality in both groups was similar and was superior to images reconstructed using standard ordered subsets expectation maximization (OSEM) iterative reconstruction techniques; superior image quality was therefore seen with a 50% reduction in radiation dose.[92]

Wide-beam reconstruction techniques employed in this study differ from standard filtered-back projection and iterative-reconstruction methods in considering the 3D collimator response to image generation. Both depth-dependent resolution recovery and noise remodelling are incorporated and image quality is maintained despite reduced counts.[13,92–94]

Software developments, such as resolution-recovery techniques that are able to significantly reduce radiation exposure, may provide a more financially viable alternative to the purchase of new camera hardware in nuclear cardiology in order to minimize patient radiation exposure.


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