Application of SpECT/CT imaging in the diagnosis of benign diseases
- Garcheva, A. Demirev
The application of recently introduced hybrid nuclear medicine methods gains importance in a variety of clinical fields, mainly because of the unique combination between functional and anatomical data provided by those methods and their capability for a precise localization of pathological processes. Single photon emission computed tomography, combined with computed tomography (SPECT/CT) is one of those methods. Its role in nuclear cardiology is important, because it provides quick attenuation correction and calculates the calcium score. In nuclear endocrinology SPECT/CT participates in thyroid and parathyroid examinations, especially in cases, where there is a need for localization of ectopic parathyroid or thyroid tissue. In nuclear pulmonology, one of the best ways to attribute certain changes seen on the SPECT, to the zone of interest on the CT, is to study the fused images obtained from the SPECT/CT scanner. In cases of suspected infection and inflammation, fused images are indispensable for accurate localization of the involved tissue (structure) and for discrimination between normal/abnormal uptake. Careful reading of the CT component (even low-dose) is related (in 10% of cases) to clinically important incidental findings: effusions, tumors, metastases or lymph node pathology. SPECT/CT increases the specificity of the examinations and improves significantly the localization of pathological processes. It provides additional information, shortens the diagnostic algorithm and influences the extent of surgical procedures. In many hybrid examinations the preferred CT component is a low-dose one, without considerable radiation exposure. The opportunity to combine nuclear medicine techniques and contrast CT images, aiming at better diagnosis needs further development. SPECT/CT provides important additional information and more accurate diagnostics in patients with benign diseases.
Key words: SPECT/CT. BENIGN DISEASES