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Intraoperative 3-D mapping of parathyroid adenoma using freehand SPECT

Kambiz Rahbar1*, Mario Colombo-Benkmann2, Christina Haane2, Christian Wenning1, Alexis Vrachimis1, Matthias Weckesser1 and Otmar Schober1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Nuclear Medicine, University Hospital Muenster, Albert-Schweitzer-Campus 1, Gebäude A1, Muenster, 48149, Germany

2 Department of General and Visceral Surgery, University Hospital Muenster, Albert-Schweitzer-Campus 1, Gebäude W1, Muenster, 48149, Germany

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EJNMMI Research 2012, 2:51  doi:10.1186/2191-219X-2-51

Published: 27 September 2012



Freehand single photon emission computed tomography (fSPECT) is a three-dimensional (3-D) tomographic imaging modality based on data acquisition with a handheld detector that is moved freely, in contrast to conventional, gantry-mounted gamma camera systems. In this pilot study, we evaluated the feasibility of fSPECT for intraoperative 3-D mapping in patients with parathyroid adenomas.


Three patients (range 30 to 45 years) diagnosed with hyperparathyroidism (one primary and two tertiary) underwent parathyroid scintigraphy with technetium-99m sestamibi (99mTc-MIBI) to localize parathyroid adenomas. Two patients were referred with persistent hyperparathyroidism after conventional parathyroidectomy. In all three patients, a planar scintigraphy of the neck was performed 10 min after injection (p.i.) followed by SPECT/CT (Symbia T2, Siemens Healthcare) and a correlative ultrasound 2 h p.i. 99mTc-MIBI scan was performed the day before surgery in two patients and at the same day in one patient. fSPECT images were acquired intraoperatively using declipse SPECT (SurgicEyeTM).


A total of five parathyroid adenomas were successfully located with SPECT/CT. fSPECT allowed intraoperative detection of all adenomas, and successful parathyroidectomy was accomplished. Parathyroid hormone level decreased intraoperatively in all three patients, on average, by 79% (range 72% to 91%).


In this preliminary study, we could demonstrate that intraoperative localization of parathyroid adenomas is feasible using the freehand SPECT technology, thus allowing an image-guided parathyroidectomy.

Intraoperative probes; Freehand SPECT; SPECT/CT; Intraoperative mapping