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Purpose: A dedicated cardiac hybrid single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT)/CT scanner that uses cadmium zinc telluride detectors and multiple pinhole collimators for stationary acquisition offers many advantages. However, the impact of the reconstruction system matrix (SM) dimension on the reconstructed image quality from truncated projections and 19 angular samples acquired on this scanner has not been extensively investigated. In this study, the authors aimed to investigate the impact of the dimensions of SM and the use of body contour derived from adjunctive CT imaging as an object support in reconstruction on this scanner, in relation to background extracardiac activity. Methods: The authors first simulated a generic SPECT/CT system to image four NCAT phantoms with various levels of extracardiac activity and compared the reconstructions using SM in different dimensions and with/without body contour as a support for quantitative evaluations. The authors then compared the reconstructions of 18 patient studies, which were acquired on a GE Discovery NM570c scanner following injection of different radiotracers, including 99mTc-Tetrofosmin and 123I-mIBG, comparing the scanner's default SM that incompletely covers the body with a large SM that incorporates a patient specific full body contour. Results: The simulation studies showed that the reconstructions using a SM that only partially covers the body yielded artifacts on the edge of the field of view (FOV), overestimation of activity and increased nonuniformity in the blood pool for the phantoms with higher relative levels of extracardiac activity. However, the impact on the quantitative accuracy in the high activity region such as the myocardium, was subtle. On the other hand, an excessively large SM that enclosed the entire body alleviated the artifacts and reduced overestimation in the blood pool, but yielded slight underestimation in myocardium and defect regions. The reconstruction using the larger SM with body contour yielded the most quantitatively accurate results in all the regions of interest for a range of uptake levels in the extracardiac regions. In patient studies, the SM incorporating patient specific body contour minimized extracardiac artifacts, yielded similar myocardial activity, lower blood pool activity, and subsequently improved myocardium-to-blood pool contrast (p<0.0001) by an average of 7% (range 0%-18%) across all the patients, compared to the reconstructions using the scanner's default SM. Conclusions: Their results demonstrate that using a large SM that incorporates a CT derived body contour in the reconstruction could improve quantitative accuracy within the FOV for clinical studies with high extracardiac activity.

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Medical Physics

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