Towards accurate 177Lu SPECT activity quantification and standardization using lesion-to-background voxel ratio

Stanislav Raskin, Dan Gamliel, David Abookasis, Simona Ben-Haim, Alexandre Chicheportiche

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: Conventional calibration of the gamma camera consists of the calculation of calibration factors (CFs) (ratio of counts/cc and true concentration activity) as the function of the volume of interest (VOI). However, such method shows inconsistent results when the background activity varies. The aim of the present study was to propose a new calibration method by considering the sphere-to-background counts/voxel ratio (SBVR) in addition to the VOI for CFs calculation. A PET cylindrical flood phantom, a NEMA IQ body phantom, a Data spectrum Torso Phantom (ECT/TOR/P) and a LK-S Kyoto Liver/Kidney phantom were used. The NEMA IQ phantom was used to calibrate the camera and to produce CFs for the different spheres volumes and for varying sphere-to-background activity ratios. The spheres were filled with a uniform activity concentration of 177Lu, while the background was first filled with cold water and activity was added between each SPECT scan. SPECT imaging was performed for 30-s, 20-s, and 10-s exposure per view. The calculated CFs were expressed as function of the sphere volume and SBVR. The obtained CFs were validated for an additional NEMA IQ acquisition with different activities in spheres and background and for the Torso and Liver/Kidney phantoms with inserted NEMA IQ spheres. The quantification accuracy was compared with the conventional method not taking SBVR into consideration. Results: The relative errors in quantification using the NEMA IQ phantom with the new calibration method were 0.16%, 5.77%, 9.34% for the large, medium and small sphere, respectively, for a time per view of 30-s. The conventional calibration method gave errors of 3.65%, 6.65%, 30.28% for 30-s. The LK-S Kyoto Liver/Kidney Phantom resulted in quantification errors of 3.40%, 2.14%, 11.18% for the large, medium and small spheres, respectively, for 30-s; compared to 11.31%, 17.54%, 14.43% for 30-s, respectively, for the conventional method. Similar results were obtained for shorter acquisitions times with 20-s and 10-s time per view. Conclusion: These results suggest that SBVR allows to improve quantification accuracy. The shorter time-per-view acquisitions had similar relative differences compared to the full-time acquisition which allows shorter imaging times with 177Lu and improved patient comfort. The SBVR method is simple to set up and can be proposed for standardization.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5
JournalEJNMMI Physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2023


  • Calibration factors
  • Gamma camera calibration
  • Lu activity quantification
  • Sphere-to-background counts/voxel ratio


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