Quantitative SPECT/CT reconstruction for 177Lu and 177Lu/90Y targeted radionuclide therapies
We investigated the quantitative accuracy of SPECT/CT imaging studies as would be performed before and after targeted radionuclide therapy (TRT) using phantom experiments with (i) 99m Tc, (ii) 177 Lu and (iii) 90 Y/ 177 Lu. While the experiment with 99m Tc imitated a diagnostic scan, the experiments with 177 Lu and 90 Y/ 177 Lu modeled post-therapy acquisitions. At the next stage, we reconstructed images from pre- and post-therapy patient studies. The data were first reconstructed using two methods with limited corrections for the physics effects. Then, to generate quantitatively accurate absolute activity distributions, we applied a hybrid (model-based and window-based) reconstruction strategy where some of the physics effects were accurately modeled while corrections for other effects were empirical and based on information obtained from the projection data. The accuracies of absolute activity recovered by the hybrid method from the six phantom experiments were very similar to each other and acceptable for potential use in TRT. When measured in identical regions of interest, the 99m Tc activity was reconstructed with errors ranging between −3.3% and 2.9%, while the 177 Lu activity was reconstructed from experiments with 177 Lu and 90 Y/ 177 Lu with errors ranging between −1.6% and 1.6%. The reconstruction algorithms with limited corrections led to larger and case-specific errors as might have been expected. From a clinical prospective, our results showed that physics-based reconstructions improved resolution of images corresponding to both diagnostic scans with 99m Tc and post-therapy scans with 177 Lu. Our analysis of patient study demonstrated that lack of corrections led to overestimation of activities in organs and tumor by 29–39% for the diagnostic scan with 99m Tc and by 105–218% for post-therapy scan with 177 Lu.