Task-based evaluation of a 4D MAP-RBI-EM image reconstruction method for gated myocardial perfusion SPECT using a human observer study

Taek Soo Lee, Takahiro Higuchi, Riikka Lautamäki, Frank M. Bengel, Benjamin M.W. Tsui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


We evaluated the performance of a new 4D image reconstruction method for improved 4D gated myocardial perfusion (MP) SPECT using a task-based human observer study. We used a realistic 4D NURBS-based Cardiac-Torso (NCAT) phantom that models cardiac beating motion. Half of the population was normal; the other half had a regional hypokinetic wall motion abnormality. Noise-free and noisy projection data with 16 gates/cardiac cycle were generated using an analytical projector that included the effects of attenuation, collimator-detector response, and scatter (ADS), and were reconstructed using the 3D FBP without and 3D OS-EM with ADS corrections followed by different cut-off frequencies of a 4D linear post-filter. A 4D iterative maximum a posteriori rescaled-block (MAP-RBI)-EM image reconstruction method with ADS corrections was also used to reconstruct the projection data using various values of the weighting factor for its prior. The trade-offs between bias and noise were represented by the normalized mean squared error (NMSE) and averaged normalized standard deviation (NSDav), respectively. They were used to select reasonable ranges of the reconstructed images for use in a human observer study. The observers were trained with the simulated cine images and were instructed to rate their confidence on the absence or presence of a motion defect on a continuous scale. We then applied receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis and used the area under the ROC curve (AUC) index. The results showed that significant differences in detection performance among the different NMSE-NSDav combinations were found and the optimal trade-off from optimized reconstruction parameters corresponded to a maximum AUC value. The 4D MAP-RBI-EM with ADS correction, which had the best trade-off among the tested reconstruction methods, also had the highest AUC value, resulting in significantly better human observer detection performance when detecting regional myocardial wall motion abnormality. We concluded that the NMSE-NSDav trade-off was shown to agree with observer performance for the detection task of the regional motion abnormality, and the optimized 4D MAP-RBI-EM method with ADS corrections provides significant improvement compared to 3D FBP and 3D OS-EM with ADS corrections in detecting regional myocardial wall motion abnormali in 4D gated MP SPECT.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6789
Pages (from-to)6789-6809
Number of pages21
JournalPhysics in Medicine and Biology
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - Sept 7 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • ROC analysis
  • gated myocardial perfusion SPECT
  • human observer study
  • image reconstruction
  • maximum a posteriori

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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