A novel small field of view Hybrid Gamma Camera (HGC) has been developed to facilitate the process of localizing radiopharmaceutical uptake during surgical procedures. The HGC is a scintillator-based detector consisting of an electron multiplying charge-coupled device coupled to a columnar scintillator (CsI[Tl]). This enables fusion scintigraphic and optical images offering new possibilities for assisting clinicians and surgeons in localising the site of uptake in a number of surgical procedures. This technology also offers bedside imaging for small organs in procedures such as thyroid scintigraphy. In this study, prototype anthropomorphic phantoms have been used to study the capability of the HGC. Images were acquired using a range of bespoke anthropomorphic phantoms. The gamma and hybrid optical images were acquired for the simulated sentinel lymph nodes and thyroid gland. The gamma images produced varied in terms of spatial resolution and detectability, however utilizing pinhole collimators of difference diameters (0.5 and 1.0mm) imaging was enhanced meeting the needs of small field gamma imaging. The hybrid images obtained demonstrated that the HGC is ideally suited for small organ imaging demonstrating good potential in clinical procedures, such as thyroid scintigraphy, when using acquisition times similar to those for conventional gamma imaging. Moreover, clinical scintigraphic images, from patients attending the nuclear medicine clinic, were acquired using the HGC and compared to images from a standard gamma camera. The results of our first clinical feasibility study using the HGC will be presented.
M. Alqahtani, J. Lees, S. L. Bugby
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