A multicentre simulation study of planar whole-body bone scintigraphy in Sweden

Agnetha Gustafsson, Eva Örndahl, David Minarik, Kerstin Cederholm, Sophia Frantz, Jessica Hagerman, Lena Johansson, Johan Fredén Lindqvist, Cathrine Jonsson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Whole-body bone scintigraphy is a clinically useful non-invasive and highly sensitive imaging method enabling detection of metabolic changes at an early stage of disease, often earlier than with conventional radiologic procedures. Bone scintigraphy is one of the most common nuclear medicine methods used worldwide. Therefore, it is important that the examination is implemented and performed in an optimal manner giving the patient added value in the subsequent care process. The aim of this national multicentre survey was to investigate Swedish nuclear medicine departments compliance with European practice guidelines for bone scintigraphy. In addition, the effect of image acquisition parameters on the ability to detect metabolic lesions was investigated. Methods: Twenty-five hospital sites participated in the study. The SIMIND Monte Carlo (MC) simulation and the XCAT phantom were used to simulate ten fictive patient cases with increased metabolic activity distributed at ten different locations in the skeleton. The intensity of the metabolic activity was set into six different levels. Individual simulations were performed for each site, corresponding to their specific camera system and acquisition parameters. Simulated image data sets were then sent to each site and were visually evaluated in terms of if there was one or several locations with increased metabolic activity relative to normal activity. Result: There is a high compliance in Sweden with the EANM guidelines regarding image acquisition parameters for whole-body bone scintigraphy. However, up to 40% of the participating sites acquire lower count density in the images than recommended. Despite this, the image quality was adequate to maintain a stable detection level. None of the hospital sites or individual responders deviated according to the statistical analysis. There is a need for at least 2.5 times metabolic activity compared to normal for a lesion to be detected. Conclusion: The imaging process is well harmonized throughout the country and there is a high compliance with the EANM guidelines. There is a need for at least 2.5 times the normal metabolic activity for a lesion to be detected as abnormal.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12
JournalEJNMMI Physics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Medical Imaging


  • Bone scintigraphy
  • Detection degree
  • Image quality assurance
  • Monte Carlo
  • Multicentre survey


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