Development of a mercuric iodide detector array for medical imaging applications
A nineteen element mercuric iodide (HgI2) detector array has been developed as a prototype for a larger (169 element) array, which is intended for use as an intra-operative gamma camera (IOGC). This work is motivated by the need for identifying and removing residual tumor cells after the removal of bulk tumor, while sparing normal tissue. Prior to surgery, a tumor seeking radiopharmaceutical is injected into the patient, and the IOGC is used to locate and map out the radioactivity. The IOGC can be used with commercially available radioisotopes such as 201Tl, 99mTc, and 123I which have low energy X- and gamma-rays. The use of HgI2 detector arrays in this application facilitates construction of an imaging head that is very compact and has a high signal-to-noise ratio. The prototype detectors were configured as discrete pixel elements joined by fine wires into novel pseudo crossed-grid arrays to promote improved electric field distribution compared with previous designs, and to maximize the fill factor for the expected circular probe shape. Pixel dimensions are hexagonal with 1.5 mm and 1.9 mm diameters separated by 0.2 mm thick lead septa. The overall detectors are hexagonal with a diameter of ∼1 cm. The sensitive detector thickness is 1.2 mm, which corresponds to >99% efficiency at 59 keV and 67% efficiency at 140 keV. Row, column, and pixel spectra have been measured on the prototypical detector array. Energy resolution was found to vary with the width of the row/column coincidence window that was applied. With the low edge of the coincidence window at 30% below the photopeak, pixel energy resolutions of 2.98% and 3.88% FWHM were obtained on the best individual pixels at 59 keV (241Am) and 140 keV (99mTc), respectively. To characterize this array as an imaging device, the spatial response of the pixels was measured with stepped point sources. The spatial response corresponded well with the pixel geometry, indicating that the spatial resolution was determined by the pixel geometry. © 1995.
Patt, BE; Iwanczyk, JS; Tornai, MP; Levin, CS; Hoffman, EJ
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