PLoS One 2019 31;14(7):e0218814. Epub 2019 Jul 31.
Nuclear Medicine Unit, Istituto Scientifico Romagnolo per lo Studio e la Cura dei Tumori (IRST) IRCCS, Meldola, Forli-Cesena, Italy.
The purpose of this study was to apply texture analysis (TA) to evaluate the uniformity of SPECT images reconstructed with the 3D Ordered Subsets Expectation Maximization (3D-OSEM) algorithm. For this purpose, a cylindrical homogeneous phantom filled with 177Lu was used and a total of 24 spherical volumes of interest (VOIs) were considered inside the phantom. The location of the VOIs was chosen in order to define two different configurations, i.e. gravity and radial configuration. The former configuration was used to investigate the uniformity of distribution of 177Lu inside the phantom, while the latter configuration was used to investigate the lack of uniformity from center towards edge of the images. For each VOI, the trend of different texture features considered as a function of 3D-OSEM updates was investigated in order to evaluate the influence of reconstruction parameters. TA was performed using CGITA software. The equality of the average texture feature trends in both spatial configurations was assumed as the null hypothesis and was tested by functional analysis of variance (fANOVA). With regard to the gravity configuration, no texture feature rejected the null hypothesis when the number of subsets increased. For the radial configuration, the statistical analysis revealed that, depending on the 3D-OSEM parameters used, a few texture features were capable of detecting the non-uniformity of 177Lu distribution inside the phantom moving from the center of the image towards its edge. Finally, cross-correlation coefficients were calculated to better identify the features that could play an important role in assessing quality assurance procedures performed on SPECT systems.