DOI: 10.1186/s40658-018-0209-8Pages: 1-15

Image-based SPECT calibration based on the evaluation of the Fraction of Activity in the Field of View

1. Univ Lyon, INSA-Lyon, Université Lyon 1, CNRS, Inserm, CREATIS UMR 5220, U1206

2. Univ Lyon, Centre Léon Bérard

Correspondence to:
Adrien Halty




SPECT quantification is important for dosimetry in targeted radionuclide therapy (TRT) and the calibration of SPECT images is a crucial stage for image quantification. The current standardized calibration protocol (MIRD 23) uses phantom acquisitions to derive a global calibration factor in specific conditions. It thus requires specific acquisitions for every clinical protocols. We proposed an alternative and complementary image-based calibration method that allows to determine a calibration factor adapted to each patient, radionuclide, and acquisition protocol and that may also be used as an additional independent calibration.


The proposed method relies on a SPECT/CT acquisition of a given region of interest and an initial whole-body (WB) planar image. First, the conjugate view of WB planar images is computed after scatter and attenuation correction. 3D SPECT images are reconstructed with scatter, attenuation, and collimator-detector response (CDR) corrections and corrected from apparent dead-time. The field of view (FOV) of the SPECT image is then projected on the corrected WB planar image. The fraction of activity located in the area corresponding to the SPECT FOV is then calculated based on the counts on the corrected WB planar image. The Fraction of Activity in Field Of View (FAF) is then proposed to compute the calibration factor as the total number of counts in the SPECT image divided by this activity. Quantification accuracy was compared with the standard calibration method both with phantom experiments and on patient data.

Both standard and image-based calibrations give good accuracy on large region of interest on phantom experiments (less than 7% of relative difference compared to ground truth). Apparent dead-time correction allows to reduce the uncertainty associated with standard calibration from 2.5 to 1%. The differences found between both methods were lower than the uncertainty range of the standard calibration (<3%). In patient data, although no ground truth was available, both methods give similar calibration factor (average difference 3.64%).


A calibration factor may be computed directly from the acquired SPECT image providing that a WB planar image is also available and if both acquisitions are performed before biological elimination. This method does not require to perform phantom acquisition for every different acquisition conditions and may serve to double check the calibration with an independent factor.

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  • Accepted: Mar 16, 2018
  • Online: May 16, 2018

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