Photomultiplier tube (PMT)-based scintillation cameras are predominant in molecular imaging but have the drawback that position estimation is severely degraded near the edges (dead edge effect). This leads to sensitivity losses and can cause severe problems in applications like molecular breast imaging and in certain SPECT devices. Using smaller light sensors or semiconductor detectors can solve this issue but leads to increased costs. Here we present a gamma detector based on standard PMTs with a novel light-guide-PMT geometry that strongly reduces dead edges. In our design, a monolithic NaI(Tl) scintillator is read out by square PMTs placed in a staggered arrangement. At the edge of the scintillator we inserted additional light-guides to emulate half-size PMTs. Detector performance was assessed for 99m Tc imaging; an average spatial resolution of 3.6 mm was measured over the whole detector, degrading to 4.0 mm within 30 mm to the critical edge. The dead edge of the scintillator is <; 3 mm. Since a 12-mm seal was used, the overall dead edge is <; 15 mm, which is a significant improvement over conventional Anger cameras (~40-mm dead edge). Therefore, the presented geometry can be useful in creating economical gamma detectors with reduced dead edges.
|Journal||IEEE Transactions on Radiation and Plasma Medical Sciences|
|Publication status||Published - 2020|
- Anger camera
- dead edge
- gamma detector
- molecular breast imaging