Non-invasive estimation of potassium (39K) in Bovine Liver using Neutron Stimulated Emission Computed Tomography (NSECT)


Journal Article

Neutron stimulated emission computed tomography (NSECT) is being developed as a non-invasive technique to measure element concentration in in-vivo tissue at molecular levels. We have developed a system that performs this task using an incident neutron beam that scatters inelastically with an atomic nucleus causing it to emit a characteristic gamma photon. An energy-sensitive gamma detector is used to detect this energy and identify the target atom. Here we describe an experiment to determine the concentration of natural potassium (39K) in bovine liver without the need for a biopsy. A 5 MeV neutron beam was used to scan a known quantity of bovine liver to obtain a gamma spectrum showing element concentration in the liver. An aqueous KCl solution calibration sample was then scanned to establish a ratio of potassium concentration to gamma counts for the experimental setup. Counts from gamma peaks corresponding to excited states in 39K were summed and compared with counts from the known calibration sample, to give the concentration of 39K in the liver. A high purity germanium (HPGe) clover detector was used to measure the emitted gamma energy. The results were validated through neutron activation analysis (NAA) of the liver sample. The concentration of 39K reported by NSECT was found to be within 13% of the NAA result, clearly demonstrating the ability of NSECT for non-invasive quantification of element concentration in tissue. © 2006 IEEE.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Kapadia, AJ; Sharma, AC; Tourassi, GD; Bender, JE; Crowell, AS; Kiser, MR; Howell, CR; Floyd, CE

Published Date

  • January 1, 2006

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 4 /

Start / End Page

  • 2076 - 2078

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1095-7863

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1109/NSSMIC.2006.354322

Citation Source

  • Scopus