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Molecular Imaging with Clinical X-Ray Sources and Compton Cameras

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D Vernekohl

D Vernekohl*, M Ahmad , G Chinn , L Xing , Stanford University, Stanford, CA


SU-G-IeP3-10 (Sunday, July 31, 2016) 5:00 PM - 5:30 PM Room: ePoster Theater

The application of Compton cameras (CC) is a novel approach translating XFCT to a practical modality realized with clinical CT systems without the restriction of pencil beams. The dual modality design offers additional information without extra patient dose. The purpose of this work is to investigate the feasibility and efficacy of using CCs for volumetric x-ray fluorescence (XF) imaging by Monte Carlo (MC) simulations and statistical image reconstruction.

The feasibility of a CC for imaging x-ray fluorescence emitted from targeted lesions is examined by MC simulations. 3 mm diameter water spheres with various gold concentrations and detector distances are placed inside the lung of an adult human phantom (MIRD) and are irradiated with both fan and cone-beam geometries. A sandwich design CC composed of Silicon and CdTe is used to image the gold nanoparticle distribution. The detection system comprises four 16x26 cm² detector panels placed on the chest of a MIRD phantom. Constraints of energy-, spatial-resolution, clinical geometries and Doppler broadening are taken into account. Image reconstruction is performed with a list-mode MLEM algorithm with cone-projector on a GPU.

The comparison of reconstruction of cone- and fan-beam excitation shows that the spatial resolution is improved by 23% for fan-beams with significantly decreased processing time. Cone-beam excitation increases scatter content disturbing quantification of lesions near the body surface. Spatial resolution and detectability limit in the center of the lung is 8.7 mm and 20 fM for 50 nm diameter gold nanoparticles at 20 mGy.

The implementation of XFCT with a CC is a feasible method for molecular imaging with high atomic number probes. Given constrains of detector resolutions, Doppler broadening, and limited exposure dose, spatial resolutions comparable with PET and molecular sensitivities in the fM range are realizable with current detector technology.

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