Attenuation correction for lung SPECT: Evidence of need and validation of an attenuation map derived from the emission data

Margarita Núñez*, Vineet Prakash, Ricardo Vila, Fernando Mut, Omar Alonso, Brian F. Hutton

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    11 Citations (Scopus)


    Purpose: The aim of our study was to investigate the importance of attenuation correction (AC) in reconstructed and reprojected images on lung SPECT studies. Methods: Simulation studies were undertaken to evaluate the influence of AC on defect-to-normal ratios (D/N), to demonstrate the influence of errors in the correction map values and to detect lung boundaries used for AC. The use of a synthetic map (SM) for AC of the clinical data was also evaluated and the results compared with those obtained with data derived from CT (CTM). Additionally, the role of AC in reprojected SPECT data was assessed and level of noise on the 'planar-like' images was measured. Results: Phantom studies showed that AC markedly affects the D/N ratio. However, variations in μ values typical of those found in clinical studies resulted in relatively small changes in results. Eroded and dilated conditions did not cause any significant effect on D/N. The level of noise in the reprojected images is reduced in comparison with real planar data. Clinical SPECT/CT data reconstructed wit AC using CTM and SM showed an excellent correlation between the two methods. Conclusion: AC improves D/N in lung SPECT studies, thus potentially enhancing the diagnostic capability of the method. The use of a synthetic map for AC is feasible, avoiding the need for an additional procedure and the increased radiation dose involved. Planar-like images generated from reprojected SPECT data are well matched to normal planar images provided AC is performed and attenuation included in the reprojection.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1076-1089
    Number of pages14
    JournalEuropean Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
    Issue number7
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2009


    • Image processing
    • Pulmonary embolism
    • Reconstruction quantification
    • SPECT
    • V/Q


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