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Improved Detection of Sentinel Lymph Nodes in SPECT/CT Images Acquired Using a Low- to Medium-Energy General-Purpose Collimator

Yoneyama, Hiroto PhD*; Tsushima, Hiroyuki PhD; Kobayashi, Masato PhD; Onoguchi, Masahisa PhD; Nakajima, Kenichi MD§; Kinuya, Seigo MD§

doi: 10.1097/RLU.0b013e31828da362
Original Articles

Purpose 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.

Methods 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.

Results 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.

Conclusions 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.

From the *Department of Radiological Technology, Kanazawa University Hospital; †Department of Radiological Sciences, Ibaraki Prefectural University of Health Sciences, Ibaraki, and Departments of ‡Health Science and §Biotracer Medicine, Graduate School of Medical Science, Kanazawa University, Japan.

Received for publication June 29, 2012; revision accepted September 27, 2012.

This work was supported by Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research in Japan (no. 22931038).

Conflicts of interest and sources of funding: none declared.

Reprints: Hiroto Yoneyama, PhD, Department of Radiological Technology, Kanazawa University Hospital, 13-1 Takaramachi, Kanazawa 920-0641, Japan. E-mail:

© 2014 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins