Single-photon emission computed tomography

Single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT, or less commonly, SPET) is a nuclear medicine tomographic imaging technique using gamma rays. It is very similar to conventional nuclear medicine planar imaging using a gamma camera. However, it is able to provide true 3D information. This information is typically presented as cross-sectional slices through the patient but can be freely reformatted or manipulated as required.

The technique requires delivery of a gamma-emitting radioisotope (a radionuclide) into the patient, normally through injection into the bloodstream. On occasion, the radioisotope is a simple soluble dissolved ion, such as a radioisotope of gallium(III). Most of the time, though, a marker radioisotope is attached to a specific ligand to create a radioligand, whose properties bind it to certain types of tissues. This marriage allows the combination of ligand and radiopharmaceutical to be carried and bound to a place of interest in the body, where the ligand concentration is seen by a gamma-camera.


Single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) traditionally has been the most sensitive modality for diagnosing active (early) spondylolysis. More recently, high signal change (HSC) in the pedicle or pars interarticularis on fluid-specific (T2) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has been shown to be important in the diagnosis of early spondylolysis.

  • single-photon_emission_computed_tomography.txt
  • Last modified: 2020/02/04 21:34
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