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Open Access Research article

Multiple window spatial registration error of a gamma camera: 133Ba point source as a replacement of the NEMA procedure

Helmar Bergmann1*, Gregory Minear2, Maria Raith3 and Peter M Schaffarich1

Author Affiliations

1 Center for Biomedical Engineering and Physics, Vienna Medical University, Waehringer Guertel 18 – 20, A-1090 Vienna, Austria

2 Dept of Nuclear Medicine, Landesklinikum, Propst-Fuehrer-Straße 4, A-3100 St. Pölten, Lower Austria

3 Clinic of Nuclear Medicine, Vienna Medical University, Waehringer Guertel 18 – 20, A-1090 Vienna, Austria

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BMC Medical Physics 2008, 8:6  doi:10.1186/1756-6649-8-6

Published: 9 December 2008



The accuracy of multiple window spatial resolution characterises the performance of a gamma camera for dual isotope imaging. In the present study we investigate an alternative method to the standard NEMA procedure for measuring this performance parameter.


A long-lived 133Ba point source with gamma energies close to 67Ga and a single bore lead collimator were used to measure the multiple window spatial registration error. Calculation of the positions of the point source in the images used the NEMA algorithm. The results were validated against the values obtained by the standard NEMA procedure which uses a liquid 67Ga source with collimation.


Of the source-collimator configurations under investigation an optimum collimator geometry, consisting of a 5 mm thick lead disk with a diameter of 46 mm and a 5 mm central bore, was selected. The multiple window spatial registration errors obtained by the 133Ba method showed excellent reproducibility (standard deviation < 0.07 mm). The values were compared with the results from the NEMA procedure obtained at the same locations and showed small differences with a correlation coefficient of 0.51 (p < 0.05). In addition, the 133Ba point source method proved to be much easier to use. A Bland-Altman analysis showed that the 133Ba and the 67Ga Method can be used interchangeably.


The 133Ba point source method measures the multiple window spatial registration error with essentially the same accuracy as the NEMA-recommended procedure, but is easier and safer to use and has the potential to replace the current standard procedure.