Cardiac motion correction for improving perfusion defect detection in cardiac SPECT at standard and reduced doses of activity

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Radiology

Publication Date


Document Type



Cardiovascular System | Medical Biophysics | Physics | Radiology


In cardiac SPECT perfusion imaging, cardiac motion can lead to motion blurring of anatomical detail and perfusion defects in the reconstructed myocardium. In this study, we investigated the potential benefit of cardiac motion correction for improving the detectability of perfusion defects. We considered a post-reconstruction motion correction (PMC) approach in which the image motion between two cardiac gates is obtained with optical flow estimation. In the experiments, we demonstrated the proposed post-reconstruction motion correction with optical flow estimation (PMC-OFE) approach on a set of clinical acquisitions from 194 subjects. We quantified the detectability of perfusion defects in the reconstructed images by using the total perfusion deficit scores, calculated by the clinical software tool QPS, and conducted a receiver-operating-characteristic (ROC) study to obtain the detection performance. Besides imaging with conventional standard dose, we also evaluated the approach for reduced dose SPECT imaging where the imaging dose was retrospectively reduced to 50%, 25%, and 12.5% of the standard dose. The proposed PMC-OFE approach achieved at each dose level higher area-under-the-ROC-curve (AUC) for perfusion defect detection than the traditional approach of using ungated data (Non-MC) (p -value < 0.05); in particular, with half dose, PMC-OFE achieved AUC = 0.813, which is comparable to Non-MC with standard dose (AUC = 0.795). Moreover, the proposed PMC-OFE approach also outperformed the 'Motion Frozen' (MF) method implemented in the clinical quantitative gated SPECT (QGS) software. In particular, at 25% and 12.5% of standard dose, the AUC values obtained by PMC-OFE are 0.788 and 0.779, respectively, compared to 0.758 and 0.731 for MF (p -value < 0.05).


Cardiac motion correction, cardiac SPECT, perfusion defect detection

DOI of Published Version



Phys Med Biol. 2019 Feb 20;64(5):055005. doi: 10.1088/1361-6560/aafefe. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Physics in medicine and biology

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Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID