In nuclear oncology, despite the fast-growing diffusion of 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET), single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) studies can still play an useful clinical role in several applications. The main limitation of SPECT imaging with tumor-seeking agents is the lack of the structural delineation of the pathologic processes they detect; this drawback sometimes renders SPECT interpretation difficult and can diminish its diagnostic accuracy. Fusion with morphological studies can overcome this limitation by giving an anatomical map to scintigraphic data. In the past, software-based fusion of independently performed SPECT and CT images proved to be time-consuming and impractical for routine use. The recent development of dual-modality integrated imaging systems that provide functional (SPECT) and anatomical (CT) images in the same scanning session, with the acquired images coregistered by means of the hardware, has opened a new era in this field. The first reports indicate that SPECT/CT is very useful in cancer imaging because it is able to provide further information of clinical value in several cases. In SPECT, studies of lung cancer and malignant lymphomas using different radiopharmaceutical, hybrid images are of value in providing the correct localization of tumor sites, with a precise detection of the involved organs, and the definition of their functional status, and in allowing the exclusion of disease in sites of physiologic tracer uptake. Therefore, in lung cancer and lymphomas, hybrid SPECT/CT can play a role in the diagnosis of the primary tumor, in the staging of the disease, in the follow-up, in the monitoring of therapy, in the detection of recurrence, and in dosimetric estimations for target radionuclide therapy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology