Correction of partial volume effects in myocardial SPECT

Brian F. Hutton*, Adam Osiecki

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    22 Citations (Scopus)


    Background. Marked partial volume effects occur in myocardial single photon emission computed tomographic (SPECT) studies because of limited resolution in imaging the myocardial wall and contractile motion of the heart. Little work has been undertaken to develop correction techniques for SPECT except for efforts to improve the reconstructed resolution. Our purpose was to examine the extent of the problem and propose a correction method. Methods and Results. A potential correction method, developed initially for positron emission tomography, involved estimation of extravascular density by means of subtracting vascular density derived in a blood pool study from total density derived from a transmission study. Provided partial volume errors are the same for transmission and emission data, activity per gram of extravascular tissue can be obtained by means of dividing the perfusion regional data by extravascular density for the same region. Simulations were designed to assess the importance of partial volume errors and the use of extravascular density to correct the errors. Recovery coefficients for the myocardium were estimated by means of simulation of the beating heart on the basis of published values for ventricular dimensions. Resolution for transmission with a scanning line source system was compared with emission resolution. The effect of spillover on measured partial volume losses was assessed, and a method for matching spillover for emission and extravascular density was demonstrated. Correction for partial volume effects was demonstrated for a phantom with variable wall thickness. Significant variation in recovery coefficient was demonstrated between posterior and septal walls for individual patients independent of heart size. Filtering was necessary to account for the difference in transmission resolution measured in the axial direction. Spillover effects had a significant influence on the measured recovery for small objects; however, for a specific reconstruction algorithm and defined region size, correction was implemented to match the spillover effects for emission and extravascular density. Use of extravascular density for correction of partial volume loss, for ordered subsets expectation maximization reconstruction with compensation for resolution, was demonstrated to be accurate to within 10%. Conclusions. The feasibility of correcting partial volume effects with extravascular density was demonstrated. Correction is effective provided care is taken to match both resolution and spillover for emission and extravascular density.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)402-413
    Number of pages12
    JournalJournal of Nuclear Cardiology
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 1998


    • Myocardial perfusion
    • Partial volume effect
    • Quantification
    • SPECT
    • Transmission measurement


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