The physical performances of two current state-of-the-art scanners dedicated to functional imaging of the brain, one a single-photon emission tomography (SPET) scanner and the other a positron emission tomography (PET) scanner, have been compared under identical conditions. The aim of the study was to compare the capabilities of the devices under conditions resembling the routine clinical environment, as well as to consider other issues such as radiation burden for some common investigations. Both systems have slightly less than 11-cm axial fields of view. The PET system can be operated in a septa-less (3D) mode as well as conventionally with septa (2D). The spatial resolution of both devices was less than 8 mm in all dimensions in scattering media. On average, the PET scanner's resolution was approximately 10%-15% better than the SPET system. Energy resolution on the SPET system was superior due the scintillator used [Nal(Tl)]. Sensitivity in air with a line source on the PET system was found to be ∼150 times greater in 3D and ∼25 times greater in 2D than with the SPET system. A normal subject was studied on each system in an attempt to obtain the highest quality data possible for a subjective comparison. It is clear that, while PET retains the advantages of more desirable radiopharmaceuticals and higher sensitivity, the quality obtainable from SPET devices has improved markedly. SPET may prove as useful for many clinical investigations.
- Brain imaging
- Positron emission tomography scanner
- Single-photon emission tomography scanner
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging