Quantitative 177Lu SPECT imaging using advanced correction algorithms in non-reference geometry

M. D'Arienzo, M. L. Cozzella, A. Fazio, P. De Felice, G. Iaccarino, M. D'Andrea, S. Ungania, M. Cazzato, K. Schmidt, S. Kimiaei, L. Strigari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Peptide receptor therapy with 177Lu-labelled somatostatin analogues is a promising tool in the management of patients with inoperable or metastasized neuroendocrine tumours. The aim of this work was to perform accurate activity quantification of 177Lu in complex anthropomorphic geometry using advanced correction algorithms. Acquisitions were performed on the higher 177Lu photopeak (208 keV) using a Philips IRIX gamma camera provided with medium-energy collimators. System calibration was performed using a 16 mL Jaszczak sphere surrounded by non-radioactive water. Attenuation correction was performed using μ-maps derived from CT data, while scatter and septal penetration corrections were performed using the transmission-dependent convolution-subtraction method. SPECT acquisitions were finally corrected for dead time and partial volume effects. Image analysis was performed using the commercial QSPECT software. The quantitative SPECT approach was validated on an anthropomorphic phantom provided with a home-made insert simulating a hepatic lesion. Quantitative accuracy was studied using three tumour-to-background activity concentration ratios (6:1, 9:1, 14:1). For all acquisitions, the recovered total activity was within 12% of the calibrated activity both in the background region and in the tumour. Using a 6:1 tumour-to-background ratio the recovered total activity was within 2% in the tumour and within 5% in the background. Partial volume effects, if not properly accounted for, can lead to significant activity underestimations in clinical conditions. In conclusion, accurate activity quantification of 177Lu can be obtained if activity measurements are performed with equipment traceable to primary standards, advanced correction algorithms are used and acquisitions are performed at the 208 keV photopeak using medium-energy collimators.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1745-1752
Number of pages8
JournalPhysica Medica
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2016


  • Correction algorithms
  • PRRT with Lu-labelled somatostatin analogue
  • Quantitative imaging
  • Transmission-dependent convolution-subtraction correction algorithm

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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