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Proceedings Paper

GEANT4 simulation of NSECT for detection of iron overload in the liver
Author(s): Anuj J. Kapadia; Brian P. Harrawood; Georgia D. Tourassi
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Paper Abstract

Neutron stimulated emission computed tomography (NSECT) is being proposed as a non-invasive technique to diagnose iron overload in humans. It uses inelastic scatter interactions between incident neutrons and iron nuclei to stimulate gamma-ray emission from iron. Tomographic detection of the emitted gamma-rays yields information about the concentration and spatial distribution of iron in the liver. Early proof-of-concept experiments have shown that NSECT has the potential to quantify clinical quantities of liver iron overload through single-position spectroscopy. However, a tomography application for patient diagnosis has never been tested. This work uses a Monte-Carlo simulation of a tomographic NSECT system to investigate the feasibility of imaging the spatial distribution of liver iron through tomography. A simulation of an NSECT system has been designed in GEANT4 and used to tomographically scan a simulated human liver phantom with high-concentration iron lesions. Images are reconstructed with the MLEM algorithm and analyzed for pixel values within iron regions to determine the statistical significance of detection. Analysis results indicate that a wet iron concentration of 3 mg/g can be detected in surrounding liver tissue with p-value ≤ 0.0001 for neutron exposure corresponding to a radiation dose of 0.72 mSv. The research performed here demonstrates that NSECT has the ability to image clinically relevant distributions of iron through tomographic scanning.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 March 2008
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 6913, Medical Imaging 2008: Physics of Medical Imaging, 691309 (19 March 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.773245
Show Author Affiliations
Anuj J. Kapadia, Duke Univ. Medical Ctr. (United States)
Brian P. Harrawood, Duke Univ. Medical Ctr. (United States)
Georgia D. Tourassi, Duke Univ. Medical Ctr. (United States)
Duke Univ. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6913:
Medical Imaging 2008: Physics of Medical Imaging
Jiang Hsieh; Ehsan Samei, Editor(s)

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