In single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), Compton scattering produces a background that degrades the image quality and contributes erroneously to quantitative measurements. A clinically implementable compensation algorithm has previously been reported that subtracts a Compton scatter image, acquired in an energy window set below the energy of the photopeak, from the primary image acquired in the photopeak window. We present an evaluation and justification of the assumptions made in the previous empirical development of the subtraction algorithm. A Monte Carlo model of the SPECT system in which the Compton scattered vents may be followed independently of the nonscattered events was used to evaluate this subtraction technique. Simulation shows that the assumptions made in the experimental application of this algorithm were valid. Specifically (1) the "scatter" energy window used in the experiment (91-125 keV for imaging Tc-99m) contains only scattered events, (2) the shape of the line spread function (LSF) for the events in the scatter window is a reasonable approximation to the shape of the scatter in the photopeak window, and (3) the ratio of the number of scattered events in the photopeak window to the number of events in the scatter window is 0.57, close to the value of 0.5 derived heuristically. Thus, Monte Carlo simulation validates the basic assumptions underlying the empirical implementation of the scatter subtraction algorithm.