Multicenter clinical trial to evaluate the efficacy of correction for photon attenuation and scatter in SPECT myocardial perfusion imaging

Robert C. Hendel, Daniel S. Berman, S. James Cullom, William Follansbee, Gary V. Heller, Hosen Kiat, Mark W. Groch, John J. Mahmarian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

212 Scopus citations


Background - Soft tissue attenuation is a prominent cause of single- photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) imaging artifacts, which may result in reduced diagnostic accuracy of myocardial perfusion imaging. A method incorporating simultaneously acquired transmission data permits nonuniform attenuation correction and when incorporating scatter correction and resolution compensation may substantially reduce interpretive errors. Methods and Results - A prospective multicenter trial was performed recruiting patients with angiographically documented coronary disease (n=96) and group of subjects with a low likelihood of disease (n=88). The uncorrected and attenuation/scatter corrected images were read independently, without knowledge of the patient's clinical data. The detection of ≥50% stenosis was similar using uncorrected perfusion data or with attenuation/scatter correction and resolution compensation (visual or visual plus quantitative analysis), 76% versus 75% versus 78%, respectively (P=NS). The normalcy rate, however, was significantly improved with this new methodology, using either the corrected images (86% vs 96%; P=0.011) or with the corrected data and quantitative analysis (86% vs 97%; P=0.007). The receiver operator characteristic curves were also found to be marginally but not significantly higher with attenuation/scatter correction than with tradition SPECT imaging. However, the ability to detect multivessel disease was reduced with attenuation/scatter correction. Regional differences were also noted, with reduced sensitivity but improved specificity for right coronary lesions using attenuation/scatter correction methodology. Conclusions - This multicenter trial demonstrates the initial clinical results of a new SPECT perfusion imaging modality incorporating attenuation and scatter correction in conjunction with 99mTc sestamibi perfusion imaging. Significant improvements in the normalcy rate were noted without a decline in overall sensitivity but with a reduction in detection of extensive coronary disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2742-2749
Number of pages8
Issue number21
StatePublished - Jun 1 1999


  • Diagnosis
  • Imaging
  • Nuclear medicine
  • Perfusion
  • Radioisotopes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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