Single Photon Emission Computer Tomography | Peer Reviewed Journals
Journal of Physical Chemistry & Biophysics

Journal of Physical Chemistry & Biophysics
Open Access

ISSN: 2161-0398

+44 7868 792050

Single Photon Emission Computer Tomography

Single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) is a medical imaging technique that is based on conventional nuclear medicine imaging and tomographic reconstruction methods. The images reflect functional information about patients similar to that obtained with positron emission tomography (PET). Both SPECT and PET give information based on the spatial concentration of injected radiopharmaceuticals, in contrast to the other medical imaging modalities used for clinical diagnostic purposes.

 shows the imaging process and the components of a typical nuclear medicine imaging system. A radioactive-labeled pharmaceutical (radiopharmaceutical) is administered to a patient. Depending on the biodistribution properties of the radiopharmaceutical, it is taken up by different organs and/or tissue types. Most radiopharmaceuticals used in nuclear medicine and SPECT are labeled with radionuclides that emit γ-ray photons. Typically, a scintillation camera system is used as the imaging device. The scintillation camera consists of a lead collimator that allows photons traveling in given directions to pass through a large-area scintillator (commonly NaI(Tl) crystal) that converts the energy of γ-ray photons to lower-energy photons which are in turn converted to electric signals by photomultiplier tubes (PMTs). The signals from an array of PMTs are processed by electronic circuitry to provide information about the position at which a photon interacts with the crystal. The scintillation camera provides a two-dimensional projection image of the three-dimensional radioactivity distribution or radiopharmaceutical uptake within the patient.

Relevant Topics in Chemistry