DOI: 10.1186/s40658-018-0216-9Pages: 1-14

Molecular imaging using the theranostic agent 197(m)Hg: phantom measurements and Monte Carlo simulations

1. University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, Department of Nuclear Medicine

2. Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf, Institute of Radiooncology – OncoRay

3. Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf, Institute of Radiopharmaceutical Cancer Research

Correspondence to:
Robert Freudenberg




Radiomercury 197mHg and 197Hg, henceforth referred to as 197(m)Hg, is a promising theranostic radionuclide endowed with properties that allow diagnostic and therapeutic applications. The aim of this work was to investigate the capabilities of 197(m)Hg for nuclear medicine imaging. Therefore measurements were performed by using a Philips BrightView SPECT camera. Furthermore, Monte Carlo simulations using the GATE software were performed to theoretically explore the imaging contribution from the various gamma and X-ray emissions from 197(m)Hg for a commercial clinical camera with low-energy high-resolution (LEHR) and high-energy general-purpose (HEGP) collimators. We estimated the spatial resolution by using a four-quadrant bar phantom, and we evaluated the planar and tomographic images from an abdominal phantom containing three cylindrical sources of 197(m)Hg solution.


A good accordance between measurements and simulations was found for planar and SPECT imaging. Simulations allowed the decomposition of the detected energy spectrum into photon origins. Measurements and simulations for the bar phantom revealed that for the LEHR collimator, the 6-mm pattern could be resolved, whereas for the HEGP collimator, the resolution is about 10 mm. Furthermore, we found that no significant image distortion results from high-energy photons when using the LEHR collimator.


We demonstrated the imaging capabilities of 197(m)Hg which is essential both for diagnostic applications and to determine the in vivo biodistribution for dose calculations in therapeutic applications.

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  • Accepted: May 4, 2018
  • Online: Aug 27, 2018

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