Neuro-SPECT:On the development and function of brain emission tomography in the Copenhagen area

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  • Lassen, Anders
  • Ernest Stokely
  • Sissel Vorstrup
  • Tomasz Goldman
  • Jens H. Henriksen

This review describes the development of single-photon emission tomography (SPECT) in the Copenhagen area under the leadership of the internationally renown scientist, Niels A. Lassen, and the history leading up to construction of the tomograph. Measurements of global cerebral blood flow (CBF) in the 1940s and 1950s were performed by Kety & Schmidt and Lassen & Munck. Determination of regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) by intra-arterial injection of 133Xe and measurement with a 254-multicrystal scintillation detector and a computer system was a major step forward in the study of physiology and pathophysiology of cortical cerebral blood flow. Tomography with radioisotope ligands, including non-invasive administration, was advanced in different centres during the 1970s. An emission tomograph, the Tomomatic 64, was developed as a result of a multidisciplinary Danish and international collaboration. It was the first emission tomograph to provide dynamic data that could produce cross-sectional rCBF images. The present description of the construction and function of the Tomomatic 64 includes comparison with other contemporary and later brain-dedicated SPECT systems. Basic and clinical application of the Tomomatic 64 in Copenhagen resulted in several hundred important scientific publications and improved diagnostics for patients with a variety of neurological disorders. It is concluded that the development of the Tomomatic 64 was a major step forward in the study and examination of rCBF and brain function related to several brain disorders, in addition to vascular diseases.

Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical Physiology and Functional Imaging
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)10-24
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021

    Research areas

  • brain function, brain-dedicated SPECT systems, global cerebral blood flow, regional cerebral blood flow, single-photon emission tomography

ID: 250817922