Tumor SNR analysis in scintimammography by dedicated high contrast imager

Maria Nerina Cinti, Roberto Pani, Rosanna Pellegrini, Claudio Bonifazzi, Raffaele Scafè, Giuseppe De Vincentis, Franco Garibaldi, Francesco Cusanno, Renato Campanini, Nico Lanconelli, Alessandro Riccardi, Alberto Del Guerra

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The introduction of a new gamma camera fully dedicated to scintimammography (Single Photon Emission Mammography-SPEM), and more recently with a full breast FoV, allowed to make clinical examination in cranio-caudal projection like in RX-mammography, with breast mildly compressed. Such cameras are based on pixellated scintillation array and position sensitive photomultiplier (PSPMT). Reducing the collimator-tumor distance, the geometric spatial resolution and contrast was enhanced. Unfortunately, due to the scintimammographic low counting, poor contrast images are still obtained, in particular for small tumor. The aim of this paper is to evaluate how a camera based on pixellated detector can improve the SNR values for small tumor by an effective correction of the spatial response. The procedure is based on good pixel identification. A Small Gamma Camera (SGC) was arranged using metal channel dynode PSPMT photomultiplier (Hamamatsu R7600-C8) coupled to different CsI (TI) scintillator array, with field of view (FoV) with an all purpose collimator. This PSPMT kind drastically reduces the charge spread improving the intrinsic characteristics of the imager. The dimensions of the CsI (TI) arrays were the same of PSPMT active area (22×22mm2). Considering the very high intrinsic spatial resolution, a look up table was realized to accurately correct the gain and spatial non-uniformities. We used a breast and torso phantom to characterize the SNR as a function of scintillation pixel size, thickness of the breast, tumor size and depth. The data showed that the SNR depends principally on the match between the tumor and pixel size. In particular, for a 6 mm diameter tumor, the best SNR results were obtained by a 2×2 mm2pixelled array. For larger tumors, up to 10 mm diameter, a greater pixel size, like 3×3 mm2or 4×4 mm2, optimizes the SNR value. We compared the results of this camera with the analogous ones obtained by a SPEM gamma camera and by a standard Anger Camera.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1318 - 1322
Number of pages5
JournalIEEE Nuclear Science Symposium and Medical Imaging Conference
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Radiation
  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

Cite this

Cinti, M. N., Pani, R., Pellegrini, R., Bonifazzi, C., Scafè, R., De Vincentis, G., ... Del Guerra, A. (2001). Tumor SNR analysis in scintimammography by dedicated high contrast imager. IEEE Nuclear Science Symposium and Medical Imaging Conference, 3, 1318 - 1322. https://doi.org/10.1109/TNS.2003.817345