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Single Photon Emission Computerized Tomography

Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (more widely known as just SPECT) is to nuclear medicine as what plain CT scans are to plain X-rays.

SPECT allows visualisation of the body in tomographic slices from recalculated planar views of the patient.

The patient receives an injection of a radiolabelled substance and images are taken as for plain nuclear medicine studies but instead they are taken several directions circumferentially around the patient. A computer reconstructs slices of the body from these planar views.

SPECT studies take more time than plain nuclear medicine images but do improve the sensitivity of the study. They also help in localising problems in three dimensions.

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