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Chair for Computer Aided Medical Procedures & Augmented Reality
Lehrstuhl für Informatikanwendungen in der Medizin & Augmented Reality

A. K. Kogler, A. M. Polemi, S. Nair, S. Majewski, L. T. Dengel, C. L. Slingluff, B. Kross, S. J. Lee, J. E. McKisson?, J. McKisson?, A. G. Weisenberger, B. L. Welch, T. Wendler, P. Matthies, J. Traub, M. Witt, M. B. Williams
Evaluation of camera-based freehand SPECT in preoperative sentinel lymph node mapping for melanoma patients
EJNMMI Research 10. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13550-020-00729-8. (bib)

Background
Assessment of lymphatic status via sentinel lymph node (SLN) biopsy is an integral and crucial part of melanoma surgical oncology. The most common technique for sentinel node mapping is preoperative planar scintigraphy of an injected gamma-emitting lymphatic tracer followed by intraoperative node localization using a non-imaging gamma probe with auditory feedback. In recent years, intraoperative visualization of SLNs in 3D has become possible by coupling the probe to an external system capable of tracking its location and orientation as it is read out, thereby enabling computation of the 3D distribution of the tracer (freehand SPECT). In this project, the non-imaging probe of the fhSPECT system was replaced by a unique handheld gamma camera containing an array of sodium iodide crystals optically coupled to an array of silicon photomultipliers (SiPMs?). A feasibility study was performed in which preoperative SLN mapping was performed using camera fhSPECT and the number of detected nodes was compared to that visualized by lymphoscintigraphy, probe fhSPECT, and to the number ultimately excised under non-imaging probe guidance. Results: Among five subjects, SLNs were detected in nine lymphatic basins, with one to five SLNs detected per basin. A basin-by-basin comparison showed that the number of SLNs detected using camera fhSPECT exceeded that using lymphoscintigraphy and probe fhSPECT in seven of nine basins and five of five basins, respectively. (Probe fhSPECT scans were not performed for four basins.) It exceeded the number excised under non-imaging probe guidance for seven of nine basins and equaled the number excised for the other two basins. Conclusions: Freehand SPECT using a prototype SiPM?-based gamma camera demonstrates high sensitivity for detection of SLNs in a preoperative setting. Camera fhSPECT is a potential means for efficiently obtaining real-time 3D activity distribution maps in applications such as image-guided percutaneous biopsy, and surgical SLN biopsy or radioguided tumor excision.
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