Quantitative Conjugate Imaging of Iodine-123 and Technetium-99m Labeled Brain Agents in the Basal Ganglia
Jangha, Desiree Nicole
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In the research reported in this dissertation, the concept of classic conjugate imaging, a non-tomographic nuclear medicine technique, is modified such that activity of a radiopharmaceutical distribution in the striata can be estimated. A mathematical model is developed that extended the application of classic conjugate imaging to estimation of two distinct and aligned activity distributions. Error analysis of the mathematical model is performed to characterize the accuracy of the model and to benchmark the limitations of the model. Phantom experiments are performed to demonstrate the practical application of the model and to evaluate its accuracy. A Monte Carlo simulation model of conjugate imaging of activity uptake in the striata of a primate is developed to evaluate the accuracy of the modified conjugate imaging technique as applied in the use of a dedicate conjugate imaging system. In addition, the simulation model is used to determine and characterize the shielding design of the small field of view gamma cameras comprising the dedicated conjugate imaging system. The application of scatter correction is investigated to address the downscatter of high-energy photon emissions into the photopeak window and the inclusion of scattered primary photons in the photopeak window. In this dissertation, it is shown that the modified conjugate imaging technique developed can be used to estimate accurately activity uptake in each of two distinct and aligned activity distributions. The accuracy of the technique is shown to be comparable to that of clinical quantitative SPECT. The modified conjugate imaging technique used with the dedicated conjugate imaging system may, therefore, be a viable quantitative nuclear medicine technique for activity estimation of radiopharmaceutical uptake in the striata of Parkinsonian and schizophrenic patients. The portability and low cost relative to SPECT systems make a dedicated conjugate imaging system advantageous for clinics with Parkinsonian and schizophrenic patients, who are unable to travel due to physical or mental limitation.