Comparison of TOF-PET and Bremsstrahlung SPECT Images of Yttrium-90: A Monte Carlo Simulation Study

Akihiko Takahashi, Kazuhiko Himuro, Shingo Baba, Yasuo Yamashita, Masayuki Sasaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: Yttrium-90 (90Y) is a beta particle nuclide used in targeted radionuclide therapy which is available to both single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and time-of-flight (TOF) positron emission tomography (PET) imaging. The purpose of this study was to assess the image quality of PET and Bremsstrahlung SPECT by simulating PET and SPECT images of 90Y using Monte Carlo simulation codes under the same conditions and to compare them.

Methods: In-house Monte Carlo codes, MCEP-PET and MCEP-SPECT, were employed to simulate images. The phantom was a torso-shaped phantom containing six hot spheres of various sizes. The background concentrations of 90Y were set to 50, 100, 150, and 200 kBq/mL, and the concentrations of the hot spheres were 10, 20, and 40 times of those of the background concentrations. The acquisition time was set to 30 min, and the simulated sinogram data were reconstructed using the ordered subset expectation maximization method. The contrast recovery coefficient (CRC) and contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) were employed to evaluate the image qualities.

Results: The CRC values of SPECT images were less than 40%, while those of PET images were more than 40% when the hot sphere was larger than 20 mm in diameter. The CNR values of PET images of hot spheres of diameter smaller than 20 mm were larger than those of SPECT images. The CNR values mostly exceeded 4, which is a criterion to evaluate the discernibility of hot areas. In the case of SPECT, hot spheres of diameter smaller than 20 mm were not discernable. On the contrary, the CNR values of PET images decreased to the level of SPECT, in the case of low concentration.

Conclusion: In almost all the cases examined in this investigation, the quantitative indexes of TOF-PET 90Y images were better than those of Bremsstrahlung SPECT images. However, the superiority of PET image became critical in the case of low activity concentrations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-31
Number of pages8
JournalAsia Oceania journal of nuclear medicine & biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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