Precise System Models using Crystal Penetration Error Compensation for Iterative Image Reconstruction of Preclinical Quad-Head PET
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A-PET is a quad-head PET scanner developed for use in small-animal imaging. The dimensions of its volumetric field of view (FOV) are 46.1 × 46.1 × 46.1 mm3 and the gap between the detector modules has been minimized in order to provide a highly sensitive system. However, such a small FOV together with the quad-head geometry causes image quality degradation. The main factor related to image degradation for the quad-head PET is the mispositioning of events caused by the penetration effect in the detector. In this paper, we propose a precise method for modelling the system at the high spatial resolution of the A-PET using a LOR (line of response) based ML-EM (maximum likelihood expectation maximization) that allows for penetration effects. The proposed system model provides the detection probability of every possible ray-path via crystal sampling methods. For the ray-path sampling, the sub-LORs are defined by connecting the sampling points of the crystal pair. We incorporate the detection probability of each sub-LOR into the model by calculating the penetration effect. For comparison, we used a standard LOR-based model and a Monte Carlo-based modeling approach, and evaluated the reconstructed images using both the National Electrical Manufacturers Association NU 4–2008 standards and the Geant4 Application for Tomographic Emission simulation toolkit (GATE). An average full width at half maximum (FWHM) at different locations of 1.77 mm and 1.79 mm are obtained using the proposed system model and standard LOR system model, which does not include penetration effects, respectively. The standard deviation of the uniform region in the NEMA image quality phantom is 2.14% for the proposed method and 14.3% for the LOR system model, indicating that the proposed model out-performs the standard LOR-based model.
KeywordsPositron emission tomography (PET) Image reconstruction in medical imaging Detector modelling and simulations (interaction of photons with matter)
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