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Detectors for medical radioisotope imaging: demands and perspectives

The paper aims to review the present status of medical radioisotope imaging instrumentation especially on the development of high resolution gamma cameras and PET detector systems. It is focused only on the detector technology.

1. Introduction Radioisotope medical imaging is a diagnostic tool used to obtain information about the functioning and physiology of the organs of the body. A small amount of radiopharmaceutical which will accumulate in the target region or organ is injected or inhaled. Images showing the radiation pattern is then produced by the imaging system.

2 types of radioisotope medical imaging techniques: 1. Scintigraphy 2. Single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) Similarities: Both use radio isotopes that emit uncorrelated ɣ-photons of energy between 80 and 350keV with 99mTc most frequently employed. Differences: Scinitigraphy -a diagnostic technique in which a two-dimensional picture of internal body tissue is produced through the detection of radiation emitted by a radioactive substance administered into the body. (Merriam-webster) -2D projection is obtained by placing a positive-sensitive detector of ɣ-rays and collimator in front of it SPECT-provides 3D images -3D image is possible by acquiring several 2D projections from different detector positions Other technique: Positron emission topography (PET)-based on positron emitter radioisotopes.

ADDITIONAL NOTE: SPECT VS. PET Similarities: 3D images are produce through the use of scintillation crystals.

The simplest collimators contain parallel holes.frankswebspace.consists of a large NaI(Tl) which is typically 50 cm in diameter and optically coupled to an array of photomultiplier. Depending on the position of the radiation cameras for scintigraphy and SPECT BGO (bismuth germinate Bi4Ge3O12).Differences: -In SPECT every single arising photon is counted while in PET in pairs. -In SPECT. http://www. This is made out of a highly absorbing material such as lead. -PET imaging gives a precise quantification of the activity distribution with the patient’s body. serving to suppress gamma rays that deviate substantially from the vertical and so acting as a kind of "lens".htm . Gamma camera Anger Camera. An Anger camera consists of a the appropriate phototubes are activated. DETECTORS FOR RADIOISOTOPE MEDICAL IMAGING -operate in counting mode -detect gamma rays of energy between 80 and 511 keV -dominated by two scintillating materials   NaI(Tl). placed between the detector surface and the patient (the patient's head is depicted as a circle in the diagram to the left). collimator is made of lead while in PET it is not needed.for PET 2. The positional information is recorded onto film as an analogue image or onto a computer (coupled to the camera) in digital form.

Animal imaging. MRI and CT allow noninvasive longitudinal studies of animal models. tissue or at a molecular level during drug development. . based on the tissue characteristics. is an examination that may be used to investigate a breast abnormality that has been discovered on preclinical studies is used to visualize changes at organs. count rate capability Intrinsic spatial resolution: Energy resolution Limitations: Exhibit degradation of the position resolution Non uniformity and various forms of image distortion Difficulty in positioning as close to the organ as desired to get the most suitable view o Correction: existence of dead zone several cm at the edges of camera 3-5 mm (FWHM) 105 cps ) 9-11% (FWHM) Development of new gamma cameras and scintigraphy and SPECT 1. or the affinity of both.Efficiency: -based on the thickness on the thickness of the crystal -In Anger’s cameras: (140 keV a surgical technique that enables the surgeon to identify tissue "marked" by a radionuclide before surgery. Scintimammography is also known as Breast Specific Gamma Imaging (BSGI) or Molecular Breast Imaging (MBI). animal imaging and intra-operative radio-guided surgery. small area. Imaging modalities like micro-PET. the radioactive tracer and its carrying molecule. task specific gamma cameras -main applications are in scinti-mammography. Development of compact.optimizing light collection -using position-sensitive photomultipliers -using different detection techniques like liquid and gas xenon detectors 2. NOTES: Scinti-mammography.also known as nuclear medicine breast imaging. Improvement of performance by . Radio-guided surgery.

the spread of the charge collected at the anode is very small. -Pillar structure focuses the scintillation light to a small spot on the photomultiplier photocatode. -Due to the dynode structure. YAPCAM for small animal imaging and SPEM for scinti-mammography .CsI(Tl) and YAP:Ce (cerium-doped yttrium aluminum perovskite) -scintillation crystals which have been investigated due to their appropriate scintillation and gamma-rays attenuation properties as shown in table below -can be produced in the shape of long and thin pillars that can be arranged in compact multielement configuration. Proper segmentation of PMT would lead to: Good localization of collected charge can be achieved Much better position resolution Significantly fewer edge-effects Table 2 -Some characteristic of crystal arrays of two gamma cameras built using the concepts mentioned above. SCHEMATIC DIAGRAM OF GAMMA CAMERA WITH A MULTI-CRYSTAL MATRIX COUPLED TO A PSPMT (Figure 1) -Gamma-rays interacts in one of the crystals which produced scintillation photons that propagate along the pillar.

SEMICONDUCTOR DETECTORS -promising alternative to scintillators for gamma cameras NOTE: Scintillator is material that fluoresces when struck by a charged particle or high-energy photon. -have better resolution -can easily be pixelated -read out directly Cadmium zincz telluride (CdZnTe) -most attractive semiconductor material .

This introduces a dependence of the amplitude in the charge signal collected at the anode and this translates into a broadening of photopeak in a pulse height spectrum. segmentation of the read out electrode is neede -the most straightforward method is shown in fig 2 . the excellent the intrinsic energy resolution) -has wide gap band therefore high resistivity which results to low leakage current and low noise characteristics -has a large product of electron motility and electron lifetime which results to a relatively fast and a high electron collection -has low product of mobility and lifetime for holes which causes a significant charge losses during drift in a bias electric field. GAMMA-RAY IMAGING -to obtain a good position resolution. This would be a dilemma in medical gamma-imaging.PROPERTIES OF (CdZnTe) (can be summarized as table 3) -has a good absorption characteristics due to high density and effective atomic number -has a good charge yield (the higher.

The dependence of the signal amplitude due to incomplete charge collection of the holes is reduced if the induced charge signal in the pixel is mostly due to the motion of electrodes close to it The smaller the ratio of pixel size to thickness of detector. Negative bias voltage applied to continuous electrode.- - Metal layers are deposited on two opposite sides of the CdZnTe slab. Pixels are kept at ground potential The fine segmentation provides position resolution and excellent side effect on pulse height spectrum. The layer is continuous on one side but divided into pads on the other. This is called “small pixel effect” . the more pronounced is the effect.

-energy resolution between 4% to 8% for 140 keV gamma-rays -detection efficiency is lower than that of the conventional Anger camera.Disadvantage: -charge is induced in the pixels adjacent to the collecting one. 140 keV varies typically from 60% to 80% depending on the thickness of the semiconductor slab and correction  Advantages: -good position and resolution and compactness very useful for scinti-mammography and radiosurgery guidance. -mobiltiy and flexibility useful for ambulatory assistance Disadvantages: -costly and modest efficiency -under development of the control of inhomogeneities and defects during CdZnTe production LIQUID XENON -also recognized as very good gamma ray detector medium aside crystals and semiconductors . It ranges from a few mm (most common) to few hundred ideal material for gamma-ray detection due to its high density (3 g/cm3) and high atomic number (Z=54 . which increases as the pixel pitch decreases Other methods/ approach  an approach suggested by Butler which used a different electrode segmentation but also produces pulse height spectra small field gamma-ray imaging for medical applications -has a modular structure composed of pixelated blocks (number of pixels vary between 4x4 or 8x8) -intrinsic spatial resolution determined by the pixel size depending on specific application.