DOI: 10.1186/s40658-018-0203-1Pages: 1-14

Performance evaluation of a novel brain-dedicated SPECT system

1. Academic Medical Center, Department of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine

Correspondence to:
T. C. de Wit
Tel: +31(0)20 5664550




Single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) imaging is an important diagnostic tool for the early detection of the loss of nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons in Parkinson’s disease (PD) and similar neurodegenerative disorders. Visualization and quantification of dopamine transporter (DAT) binding in the striatum is an established diagnostic tool to detect nigrostriatal dopaminergic degeneration. Given the small size of the striatum, high-resolution imaging is recommended. The InSPira HD system, a novel brain-dedicated SPECT scanner, allows for such detailed information with a spatial resolution down to ~ 3 mm full width at half maximum (FWHM). The current study examines performance of the InSPira HD for DAT imaging, by combining phantom tests from NU 1-2012 and NU 2-2012, and striatal scans.

Due to the unique geometry of the InSPira, and fixed acquisition and reconstruction settings, standard National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) testing is not applicable. Therefore, a combination of NU 1-2012 and NU 2-2012 standards were applied, with modifications to accommodate the InSPira HD. A small Jaszczak phantom with hot spheres and cold rod inserts was used to determine recovery coefficients, contrast, and uniformity. Spatial resolution was evaluated across the field of view (FOV) for point and line sources in air and water. A striatal phantom was used to model DAT imaging. A clinical, a high-resolution, and an experimental research reconstruction method were compared.


Acquired SPECT images demonstrated spatial resolution in air of ~ 3 mm in the center in the FOV for the high-resolution reconstruction approach. Spatial resolution in air for the clinical and research reconstruction approach was ~ 6–8 mm in the center of the FOV, which decreased in the transaxial plane with increasing radial distance from the center of the FOV. Reconstructed images of the uniform area of the Jaszczak phantom showed limited variability with a coefficient of variation of 2.6% for the clinical reconstruction and 3.0% for the research reconstruction. The ≥ 6-mm rod group and all spheres were resolved for the clinical and research reconstruction approaches. Recovery coefficients (RCs) for the Jaszczak phantom ranged from 0.49 to 0.89 (sphere diameters between 9.8 and 31.2 mm). RCs for the striatal phantom ranged from 0.50 to 0.55, with linearity of striatal ratios for a range of background concentrations (R = 0.97).


Results from the phantom data demonstrated acceptable image quality for the InSPira HD system for DAT SPECT imaging in humans.

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  • Accepted: Jan 5, 2018
  • Online: Mar 1, 2018

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