Year

2012

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Faculty of Engineering

Abstract

Numerous commercial and non-commercial nuclear medicine imaging phantoms are used for quality assurance studies, teaching, training, and research. Commercially available phantoms are sometimes not applicable in specific medical studies. As non-commercial phantoms are not easily accessible, many researchers have chosen to construct their own distinct phantom. This thesis describes the design, development and characteristics of a novel anatomical lung phantom. The phantom was uniquely developed to model perfusion conditions of patients with suspected pulmonary emboli. Two imaging modalities were chosen in this study: planar imaging and Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT) imaging.

Applications of the phantom as a quality assurance (QA) device and as a training and teaching tool were studied. The phantom was used as a QA tool to compare the interpretations of Nuclear Medicine physicians on lung perfusion and ventilations scans using the revised Prospective Investigation of Pulmonary Embolism Diagnosis (PIOPED) criteria. The studies showed both the correct and incorrect diagnosis of pulmonary embolism by the physicians. A comprehensive lung perfusion imaging atlas is also included in the thesis. A close ended Likert-scale survey was carried out to study the significance of the imaging atlas to Nuclear Medicine physicians. Nuclear Medicine physicians acknowledged the ability of the atlas to help in training new Nuclear Medicine physicians. The atlas was classified as an adequate teaching material for the physicians who are developing experience to diagnose lung perfusion and ventilation scans. In summary, the thesis demonstrates an original contribution to the nuclear medicine imaging field through the development of the novel anatomical lung phantom.

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