Energy Spectrum Analysis for Molecular Breast Imaging

Technology #2009-264

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Michael K. O'Connor Ph.D.
Amanda L. Weinmann
Managed By
Barb J. Keller
Patent Protection
US Patent Pending

Conventionally, nuclear medicine gamma cameras employ an energy window centered in the primary gamma ray energy emitted by the radioisotope being detected. For example, with Tc-99m, a 20% energy window (from 126-154 keV) is centered on the 140 keV gamma rays. At lower energies, scatter within the patient and the gamma camera degrade image quality and these events are not considered useful. In molecular breast imaging, using pixilated semiconductor detectors (such as Cadmium Zinc Telluride), we have found that useful clinical images can be obtained at energies below the primary gamma ray energy, and propose a method for extracting useful clinical information and images at these lower energies. By doing so we can improve image quality and either use this additional information to reduce the scan time or reduce patient radiation dose.