Abstract : Although time consuming, Monte-Carlo simulations remain an efficient tool enabling to assess correction methods for degrading physical effects in medical imaging.
We have optimized and validated a reconstruction method baptized F3DMC (Fully 3D Monte Carlo) in which the physical effects degrading the image formation process were modelled using Monte-Carlo methods and integrated within the system matrix. We used the Monte-Carlo simulation toolbox GATE. We validated GATE in SPECT by modelling the gamma-camera (Philips AXIS) used in clinical routine. Techniques of threshold, filtering by a principal component analysis and targeted reconstruction (functional regions, hybrid regions) were used in order to improve the precision of the system matrix and to reduce the number of simulated photons as well as the time consumption required. The EGEE Grid infrastructures were used to deploy the GATE simulations in order to reduce their computation time. Results obtained with F3DMC were compared with the reconstruction methods (FBP, ML-EM, ML-EMC) for a simulated phantom and with the OSEM-C method for the real phantom. Results have shown that the F3DMC method and its variants improve the restoration of activity ratios and the signal to noise ratio. By the use of the grid EGEE, a significant speed-up factor of about 300 was obtained. These results should be confirmed by performing studies on complex phantoms and patients and open the door to a unified reconstruction method, which could be used in SPECT and also in PET.