Effects of hole tapering on cone-beam collimation for brain SPECT imaging

Mi Ae Park, Marie Foley Kijewski, Stephen C. Moore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


New collimator manufacturing technologies, such as photoetching, electrical discharge machining, and stereolithography, expand the range of possible cone-beam collimator configurations. For example, it might now be possible for brain SPECT to make a short-focusing cone-beam collimator with tapered holes that increase in size with distance from the collimator surface; conventional lead-casting techniques produce holes of constant size and, consequently, varying septal thicknesses. Moreover, the changes in hole shape and loss of close packing due to focusing leads to thicker septa in the collimator periphery, especially for shorter focal lengths. We investigated the potential advantages of new cone-beam collimator manufacturing processes, and proposed a new design for very short focal-length collimators for brain SPECT imaging. We compared three cone-beam collimators, a conventional collimator manufactured using casting techniques (CC), a novel collimator with uniform hole sizes on the collimator surface and constant hole size through the collimator thickness (FC), and a novel collimator with uniform hole sizes and tapered holes (TC). We determined the resolution of each collimator analytically for focal lengths ranging from 20-50 cm, and adjusted the entrance hole sizes of FC and TC to equalize resolution of all collimators. Sensitivity was calculated at several locations by Monte Carlo simulation. Sensitivity was higher at all points for TC and FC than for CC, and higher for TC than for FC. The differences in sensitivity were larger for shorter focal lengths. For a point on the focal line at 10 cm in front of the collimator entrance surface, the sensitivity gain for TC compared to CC was 7% and 45% for focal lengths of 50 and 20 cm, respectively. The sensitivity gain for a 20-cm focal length, compared to CC, averaged over all locations, was 44% for TC and 23% for FC. We have shown that the new collimator designs made possible by new manufacturing techniques will provide gains in sensitivity that depend strongly on focal length; the sensitivity gains are large for the very short focal lengths that, as we have previously shown, are beneficial for brain imaging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)188-192
Number of pages5
JournalNuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment
Issue number2 SPEC. ISS.
StatePublished - Dec 20 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Brain
  • Cone-beam collimator
  • Resolution
  • Sensitivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Instrumentation


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