Evaluation of attenuation corrections using Monte Carlo simulated lung SPECT

A Gustafsson, B Bake, L Jacobsson, A Johansson, Michael Ljungberg, M Moonen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


SPECT (single photon emission computed tomography) images are distorted by photon attenuation. The effect is complex in the thoracic region due to different tissue densities. This study compares the effect on the image homogeneity of two different methods of attenuation correction in lung SPECT; one pre-processing and one post-processing method. This study also investigates the impact of attenuation correction parameters such as lung contour, body contour, density of the lung tissue and effective attenuation coefficient. The Monte Carlo technique was used to simulate SPECT studies of a digital thorax phantom containing a homogeneous activity distribution in the lung. Homogeneity in reconstructed images was calculated as the coefficient of variation (CV). The isolated effect of the attenuation correction was assessed by normalizing pixel values from the attenuation corrected lung by pixel values from the lung with no attenuation effects. Results show that the CV decreased from 12.8% with no attenuation correction to 4.4% using the post-processing method and true densities in the thoracic region. The impact of variations in the definition of the body contour was found to be marginal while the corresponding effect of variations in the lung contour was substantial
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2325-2336
JournalPhysics in Medicine and Biology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1998

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Medical Imaging


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