The use of the low-energy high-resolution (LEHR) collimator for lymphoscintigraphy causes the appearance of star-shaped artifacts at injection sites. The aim of this study was to confirm whether the lower resolution of the low- to medium-energy general-purpose (LMEGP) collimator is compensated by decrease in the degree of septal penetration and the reduction in star-shaped artifacts.
A total of 106 female patients with breast cancer, diagnosed by biopsy, were enrolled in this study. 99mTc phytate (37 MBq, 1 mCi) was injected around the tumor, and planar and SPECT/CT images were obtained after 3 to 4 hours. When sentinel lymph nodes (SLNs) could not be identified from planar and SPECT/CT images by using the LEHR collimator, we repeated the study with the LMEGP collimator.
Planar imaging performed using the LEHR and LEHR + LMEGP collimators positively identified SLNs in 96.2% (102/106) and 99.1% (105/106) of the patients, respectively. Using combination of planar and SPECT/CT imaging with the LEHR and LEHR + LMEGP collimators, SLNs were positively identified in 97.2% (103/106) and 100% (106/106) of the patients, respectively.
The LMEGP collimator provided better results than the LEHR collimator because of the lower degree of septal penetration. The use of the LMEGP collimator improved SLN detection.