Attenuation correction for single photon emission computed tomography myocardial perfusion imaging

The University of Michigan Hospitals, B1 G412/ 0028, 1500 East Medical Center Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA.
Current Cardiology Reports (Impact Factor: 1.93). 02/2004; 6(1):32-40. DOI: 10.1007/s11886-004-0063-2
Source: PubMed


The specificity of cardiac single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) perfusion imaging is significantly affected by internal photon absorption. Commonly referred to as anterior wall breast and inferior wall diaphragm attenuation artifacts, even when following characteristic patterns in women and men, the reduced activity produced can be difficult to differentiate from real perfusion defects. Unfortunately, wide variations in body habitus result in unpredictable variations in tissue attenuation and the specificity of uncorrected SPECT is unacceptably low in many laboratories. This manuscript reviews recent developments in attenuation correction methods for cardiac SPECT. Several commercial methods are now available, and although the initial success using these methods varied widely, as these methods have been improved successful clinical reports are appearing with increasing frequency. Recent developments have yielded more robust validated methods and significant clinical advantages have been achieved in the diagnostic evaluation of coronary heart disease (sensitivity as well as specificity) and myocardial viability. As these methods continue to mature, further advances should be anticipated.

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