Objective: To examine the impact of acquisition time on Lutetium-177 (177Lu) single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) images using Monte Carlo simulation. Methods: A gamma camera simulation based on the Monte Carlo method was performed to produce SPECT images. The phantom was modeled on a NEMA IEC BODY phantom including six spheres as tumors. After the administration of 7.4 GBq of 177Lu, radioactivity concentrations of the tumor/liver at 6, 24, and 72 h after administration were set to 1.85/0.201, 2.12/0.156, and 1.95/0.117 MBq/mL, respectively. In addition, the radioactivity concentrations of the tumor at 72 h after administration varied by 1/2, 1/4, and 1/8 when comparison was made. Acquisition times examined were 1.2, 1.5, 2, 3, 6, and 12 min. To assess the impact of collimators, SPECT data acquired at 72 h after the administration using six collimators of low-energy high-resolution (LEHR), extended low-energy general-purpose (ELEGP), medium-energy, and general-purpose (MEGP-1, MEGP-2, and MEGP-3) and high-energy general-purpose (HEGP) were examined. After prefiltering using a Butterworth filter, projection images were reconstructed using ordered subset expectation maximization. The detected photons were classified into direct rays, scattered rays, penetrating rays, and characteristic X-rays from lead. The image quality was evaluated through visual assessment, and physical assessment of contrast recovery coefficient (CRC) and contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR). In this study, the CNR threshold for detectability was assumed to be 5.0. Results: To compare collimators, the highest sensitivity was observed with ELEGP, followed by LEHR and MEGP-1. The highest ratio of direct ray was also observed in ELEGP followed by MEGP-1. In comparison of the radioactivity concentration ratios of tumor/liver, CRC and CNR were significantly decreased with smaller radioactivity concentration ratios. This effect was greater with larger spheres. According to the visual assessment, the acquisition time of 6, 6, and 3 min or longer was required using ELEGP collimator at 6, 24, and 72 h after administration, respectively. Physical assessment based on CNR and CRC also suggested that 6, 6, and 3 min or longer acquisition time was necessary at 6, 24, and 72 h after administration. Conclusion: 177Lu-SPECT images generated via the Monte Carlo simulation suggested that the recommended acquisition time was 6 min or longer at 6 and 24 h and 3 min or longer at 72 h after administration.
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