Molecular Imaging and Biology

, Volume 21, Issue 3, pp 401–409 | Cite as

The Complexity and Fractal Geometry of Nuclear Medicine Images

  • Fabio Grizzi
  • Angelo Castello
  • Dorina Qehajaj
  • Carlo Russo
  • Egesta LopciEmail author
Review Article


Irregularity in shape and behavior is the main feature of every anatomical system, including human organs, tissues, cells, and sub-cellular entities. It has been shown that this property cannot be quantified by means of the classical Euclidean geometry, which is only able to describe regular geometrical objects. In contrast, fractal geometry has been widely applied in several scientific fields. This rapid growth has also produced substantial insights in the biomedical imaging. Consequently, particular attention has been given to the identification of pathognomonic patterns of “shape” in anatomical entities and their changes from natural to pathological states. Despite the advantages of fractal mathematics and several studies demonstrating its applicability to oncological research, many researchers and clinicians remain unaware of its potential. Therefore, this review aims to summarize the complexity and fractal geometry of nuclear medicine images.

Key words

Fractals Geometry Complexity Anatomy Nuclear medicine 



The “Michele Rodriguez” Foundation is acknowledged for the scientific support.

Funding Information

The Italian Association for Research on Cancer (AIRC—Associazione Italiana per la Ricerca sul Cancro) provided financial support for the research with the grant no. 18923.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© World Molecular Imaging Society 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fabio Grizzi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Angelo Castello
    • 3
  • Dorina Qehajaj
    • 1
  • Carlo Russo
    • 4
  • Egesta Lopci
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Immunology and InflammationHumanitas Clinical and Research HospitalMilanItaly
  2. 2.Humanitas UniversityMilanItaly
  3. 3.Department of Nuclear MedicineHumanitas Clinical and Research HospitalMilanItaly
  4. 4.“Michele Rodriguez” FoundationMilanItaly

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