What Is SPECT?
by Monica Jaszczak
What is SPECT imaging?
How does it work?
It is crazy to think…the development of SPECT imaging can be traced back to 1917 with the publication of a mathematical paper by J. Radon. The document that took into consideration the idea that 2-D and 3-D objects could be reconstructed from the infinite set of all its projections. Strangely wonderful to think…through the invention of the computer, those same mathematical principles were manipulated and advanced enough to create a relevant 3-D image of the internal body. The remarkable and altogether inspiring development of the modern SPECT imaging process that has helped millions of patients combat everything from clogged arteries to evaluating the success of surgery.
Whether you are scientific enough to understand the intricacies of SPECT or curious about the processes, I think everyone can agree the medical imaging field has come a long way over the years. From diagnosing potentially deadly diseases to helping advance patient care, there are many different facets when it comes to SPECT.
What is SPECT?
To better understand SPECT, let’s first define the term. Single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) is a medical imaging technique. A type of nuclear imaging that allows doctors to see how well your internal organs are functioning with the help of radioactive substances and special gamma cameras. The technique creates a 3-D scan of your “insides” at different angles and provides information about how different parts of the body are working to clearly identify any problems.
While a patient may think a SPECT scan is a simple process, it takes considerable skill to generate SPECT images that are suitable for real-life applications. From brain scans to diagnosing cardiac conditions, a SPECT scan can be used in a variety of ways in the medical field. SPECT scans are available at most hospitals, clinics, and imaging centers, and provides doctors with a way to evaluate your health through accurate imaging.
How does a SPECT imaging work?
SPECT imaging/scan monitors the level of biological activity in the body to create a 3-D image. To create this image, a radioactive “tracer” is injected into the patient’s bloodstream. While inside the body, the “tracer” produces gamma rays that can be detected by a special gamma camera. The gamma camera rotates around the patient’s body, picks up the signal from the tracer found within the body, and a computer converts that signal into a picture. Through the use of a tomographic reconstruction algorithm, these 2-D image slices can then produce a 3-D image/data set.
What does a SPECT scan show?
A SPECT scan provides information about the functionality of internal organs and tissue. It produces an image that can give a “glimpse” inside the body to see if things are working as intended, or if there is a potential problem. The image is a primary view of how the blood flows through arteries and veins in the body and can detect reduced blood flow in injured or compromised sites.
Want to learn more about SPECT? Take a look at the following blog that discusses what a SPECT scan can diagnose.
SPECT and Data Spectrum Corporation
At Data Spectrum Corporation (DSC), we are the world’s leading supplier of high-quality SPECT phantoms and offer a wide range of inserts for the effective evaluation of multiple performance characteristics of any ECT camera. Whether it is a SPECT or positron system, our phantoms and related accessories provide medical imaging investigators with the ability to test imaging equipment and validate that the medical imaging is done correctly and accurately.
Want to learn more about phantoms?
A phantom is more than just a scientific device; it is a “stand-in” for human tissue and a way to ensure that the systems and methods for imaging a human body are operating correctly. If you want to learn more about what a phantom does and how it works, take a look at the following blogs.
- What is a phantom? How does it work?
- Digging deeper into our phantoms
- What is a NEMA Standard?
- What is an ACR Accreditation?
Want to learn more about Data Spectrum Corporation (DSC)?
If you would like to learn more about DSC and our products, feel free to call us at (919) 732-6800 or submit an inquiry at spect.com/contact-us.
If you would like to learn more about DSC, take a look at the following blogs:
Or, feel free to visit our website “About” page at spect.com/about