Implementation and CT sampling characterization of a third-generation SPECT-CT system for dedicated breast imaging.
Stand-alone cone beam computed tomography (CT) and single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) systems capable of complex acquisition trajectories have previously been developed for breast imaging. Fully three-dimensional (3-D) motions of SPECT systems provide views into the chest wall and throughout the entire volume. The polar tilting capability of the CBCT system has shown improvement in sampling close to the chest wall, while eliminating cone beam artifacts. Here, a single hybrid SPECT-CT system, with each individual modality capable of independently traversing complex trajectories around a common pendant breast volume, was developed. We present the practical implementation of this design and preliminary results of the CT system. The fully 3-D SPECT was nested inside the suspended CT gantry and oriented perpendicular to the CT source-detector pair. Both subsystems were positioned on a rotation stage, with the combined polar and azimuthal motions enabling spherical trajectories. Six trajectories were used for initial evaluation of the tilt capable CT system. The developed system can achieve polar tilt angles with a [Formula: see text] positioning error and no hysteresis. Initial imaging results demonstrate that additional off-axis projection views of various geometric resolution phantoms facilitate more complete sampling, more consistent attenuation value recovery, and markedly improved reconstructions. This system could have various applications in diagnostic or therapeutic breast imaging.
Shah, JP; Mann, SD; McKinley, RL; Tornai, MP
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