Objective: The performance characteristics of the SPECT sub-system S102 of the ALBIRA II PET/SPECT/CT are analyzed for the 80 mm field of view (FOV) to evaluate the potential in-vivo imaging in rats, based on measurements of the system response for the commonly used Technetium-99 m (99mTc) in small animal imaging. Methods: The ALBIRA II tri-modal µPET/SPECT/CT pre-clinical system (Bruker BioSpin, Ettlingen, Germany) was used. The SPECT modality is made up of two opposite gamma cameras (Version S102) with Sodium doped Cesium Iodide (CsI(Na)) single continuous crystal detectors coupled to position-sensitive photomultipliers (PSPMTs). Imaging was performed with the NEMA NU-4 image quality phantom (Data Spectrum Corporation, Durham, USA). Measurements were performed with a starting activity concentration of 4.76 MBq/mL 99mTc. An energy window of 20% at 140 keV was selected in this study. The system offers a 20 mm, 40 mm, 60 mm and an 80 mm field of view (FOV) and in this study the 80 mm FOV was used for all the acquisitions. The data were reconstructed with an ordered subset expectation maximization (OSEM) algorithm. Sensitivity, spatial resolution, count rate linearity, convergence of the algorithm and the recovery coefficients (RC) were analyzed. All analyses were performed with PMOD and MATLAB software. Results: The sensitivities measured at the center of the 80 mm FOV with the point source were 23.1 ± 0.3 cps/MBq (single pinhole SPH) and 105.6 ± 5.5 cps/MBq (multi pinhole MPH). The values for the axial, tangential and radial full width at half maximum (FWHM) were 2.51, 2.54, and 2.55 mm with SPH and 2.35, 2.44 and 2.32 mm with MPH, respectively. The corresponding RC values for the 5 mm, 4 mm, 3 mm and 2 mm rods were 0.60 ± 0.28, 0.61 ± 0.24, 0.29 ± 0.11 and 0.20 ± 0.06 with SPH and 0.56 ± 0.20, 0.50 ± 0.18, 0.38 ± 0.09 and 0.23 ± 0.06 with MPH. To obtain quantitative imaging data, the image reconstructions should be performed with 12 iterations. Conclusion: The ALBIRA II preclinical SPECT sub-system S102 has a favorable sensitivity and spatial resolution for the 80 mm FOV setting for both the SPH and MPH configurations and is a valuable tool for small animal imaging.
- Pre-clinical imaging