Feasibility of 177Lu activity quantification using a small portable CZT-based gamma-camera

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Background: In image processing for activity quantification, the end goal is to produce a metric that is independent of the measurement geometry. Photon attenuation needs to be accounted for and can be accomplished utilizing spectral information, avoiding the need of additional image acquisitions. The aim of this work is to investigate the feasibility of 177Lu activity quantification with a small CZT-based hand-held gamma-camera, using such an attenuation correction method. Methods: A previously presented dual photopeak method, based on the differential attenuation for two photon energies, is adapted for the three photopeaks at 55 keV, 113 keV, and 208 keV for 177Lu. The measurement model describes the count rates in each energy window as a function of source depth and activity, accounting for distance-dependent system sensitivity, attenuation, and build-up. Parameter values are estimated from characterizing measurements, and the source depth and activity are obtained by minimizing the difference between measured and modelled count rates. The method is applied and evaluated in phantom measurements, in a clinical setting for superficial lesions in two patients, and in a pre-clinical setting for one human tumour xenograft. Evaluation is made for a LEHR and an MEGP collimator. Results: For phantom measurements at clinically relevant depths, the average (and standard deviation) in activity errors are 17% ± 9.6% (LEHR) and 2.9% ± 3.6% (MEGP). For patient measurements, deviations from activity estimates from planar images from a full-sized gamma-camera are 0% ± 21% (LEHR) and 16% ± 18% (MEGP). For mouse measurements, average deviations of − 16% (LEHR) and − 6% (MEGP) are obtained when compared to a small-animal SPECT/CT system. The MEGP collimator appears to be better suited for activity quantification, yielding a smaller variability in activity estimates, whereas the LEHR results are more severely affected by septal penetration. Conclusions: Activity quantification for 177Lu using the hand-held camera is found to be feasible. The readily available nature of the hand-held camera may enable more frequent activity quantification in e.g., superficial structures in patients or in the pre-clinical setting.

TidskriftEJNMMI Physics
StatusPublished - 2024 dec.

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