Date of Graduation
Masters of Science (MS)
S. Cheenu Kappadath
Charles W. Beasley
William D. Erwin
Valen E. Johnson
Richard E. Wendt III
CHARACTERIZATION OF THE COUNT RATE PERFORMANCE AND EVALUATION OF THE EFFECTS OF HIGH COUNT RATES ON MODERN GAMMA CAMERAS
Michael Stephen Silosky, B.S.
Supervisory Professor: S. Cheenu Kappadath, Ph.D.
Evaluation of count rate performance (CRP) is an integral component of gamma camera quality assurance and measurement of system dead time (τ) is important for quantitative SPECT. The CRP of three modern gamma cameras was characterized using established methods (Decay and Dual Source) under a variety of experimental conditions. For the Decay method, input count rate was plotted against observed count rate and fit to the paralyzable detector model (PDM) to estimate τ (Rates method). A novel expression for observed counts as a function of measurement time interval was derived and the observed counts were fit to this expression to estimate τ (Counts method). Correlation and Bland-Altman analysis were performed to assess agreement in estimates of τ between methods. The dependencies of τ on energy window definition and incident energy spectrum were characterized. The Dual Source method was also used to estimate τ and its agreement with the Decay method under identical conditions and the effects of total activity and the ratio of source activities were investigated. Additionally, the effects of count rate on several performance metrics were evaluated. The CRP curves for each system agreed with the PDM at low count rates but deviated substantially at high count rates. Estimates of τ for the paralyzable portion of the CRP curves using the Rates and Counts methods were highly correlated (r=0.999) but with a small (~6%) difference. No significant difference was observed between the highly correlated estimates of τ using the Decay or Dual Source methods under identical experimental conditions (r=0.996). Estimates of τ increased as a power-law function with decreasing ratio of counts in the photopeak to the total counts and linearly with decreasing spectral effective energy. Dual Source method estimates of τ varied as a quadratic with the ratio of the single source to combined source activities and linearly with total activity used across a large range. Image uniformity, spatial resolution, and energy resolution degraded linearly with count rate and image distorting effects were observed. Guidelines for CRP testing and a possible method for the correction of count rate losses for clinical images have been proposed.
Gamma camera, dead time, Count rate performance, decay, dual source, quality assurance, testing, count rate loss