Respiratory motion artifacts on PET emission images obtained using CT attenuation correction on PET-CT
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PET-CT scanners allow generation of transmission maps from CT. The use of CT attenuation correction (CTAC) instead of germanium-68 attenuation correction (Ge AC) might be expected to cause artifacts on reconstructed emission images if differences in respiratory status exist between the two methods of attenuation correction. The aim of this study was to evaluate for possible respiratory motion artifacts (RMA) in PET images attenuation corrected with CT from PET-CT in clinical patients. PET-CT scans were performed using a Discovery LS PET-CT system in 50 consecutive patients (23 males, 27 females; mean age 58.2 years) with known or suspected malignancy. Both CTAC and Ge AC transmission data obtained during free tidal breathing were used to correct PET emission images. Cold artifacts at the interface of the lungs and diaphragm, believed to be due to respiratory motion (RMA), that were seen on CTAC images but not on the Ge AC images were evaluated qualitatively on a four-point scale (0, no artifact; 1, mild artifact; 2, moderate artifact; 3, severe artifact). RMA was also measured for height. Curvilinear cold artifacts paralleling the dome of the diaphragm at the lung/diaphragm interface were noted on 84% of PET-CT image acquisitions and were not seen on the 68Ge-corrected images; however, these artifacts were infrequently severe. In conclusion, RMA of varying magnitude were noted in most of our patients as a curvilinear cold area at the lung/diaphragm interface, but were not diagnostically problematic in these patients.
KeywordsPET/CT Image fusion Artifact Respiratory motion
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