As a matter of priority metabolic processes are displayed by diagnostic methods of the nuclear medicine. Thereby, radioactive tracers are injected which accumulate in especially metabolic active tissue of the body. Thus, conspicuous foci such as inflammations or metastases can be detected with scintigraphy. Gamma cameras scan the body of the patient planar and detect the released gamma quanta. The finding is then provided as a 2D image data.
In case of ambiguous findings a SPECT (Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography) examination for one or more parts of the body is consulted as it visualizes more detail. SPECT is an equivalent to scintigraphy; only the gamma cameras rotate around the patient during the scanning process and consequently provide 3D image data. Regarding the detection of abnormity within the body, the advantages compared with scintigraphy are exorbitant. However, the extensive recording time, and physical and psychological stress resulting from that the patient has to endure during scanning are difficult to support. That means that nowadays SPECT examinations of the whole body are conducted in individual cases only.
As a SPECT examination a priori makes sense improvements need to be established in this field. The project ARTIS focuses on the optimization of SPECT and especially on the reduction of examination times. This is managed in cooperation with the Göttingen-based company Scivis (http://www.scivis.de/) which is specialized in scientific imaging. On the basis of phantom measurements current data are acquired and analyzed with regard to contrast behaviour and noise behaviour. Depending on the outcome, considerations are outlined for possible improvements and their implementation on the part of reconstruction techniques.