Department of Medicine Publications

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EJNMMI Physics





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Accurate quantification of radioactivity, measured by an integrated positron emission tomography (PET) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system, is still a challenge. One aspect of such a challenge is to correct for the hardware attenuation, such as the patient table and radio frequency (RF) resonators. For PET/MRI systems, computed tomography (CT) is commonly used to produce hardware attenuation correction (AC) maps, by converting Hounsfield units (HU) to a linear attenuation coefficients (LAC) map at the PET energy level 511 keV, using a bilinear model. The model does not address beam hardening, nor higher density materials, which can lead to inaccurate corrections.


In this study, we introduce a transmission-based (TX-based) AC technique with a static Germanium-68 (Ge-68) transmission source to generate hardware AC maps using the PET/MRI system itself, without the need for PET or medical CT scanners. The AC TX-based maps were generated for a homogeneous cylinder, made of acrylic as a validator. The technique thereafter was applied to the patient table and posterior part of an RF-phased array used in cardiovascular PET/MRI imaging. The proposed TX-based, and the CT-based, hardware maps were used in reconstructing PET images of one cardiac patient, and the results were analysed and compared.


The LAC derived by the TX-based method for the acrylic cylinder is estimated to be 0.10851 ± 0.00380 cm−1 compared to the 0.10698 ± 0.00321 cm−1 theoretical value reported in the literature. The PET photon counts were reduced by 8.7 ± 1.1% with the patient table, at the region used in cardiac scans, while the CT-based map, used for correction, over-estimated counts by 4.3 ± 1.3%. Reconstructed in vivo images using TX-based AC hardware maps have shown 4.1 ± 0.9% mean difference compared to those reconstructed images using CT-based AC.


The LAC of the acrylic cylinder measurements using the TX-based technique was in agreement with those in the literature confirming the validity of the technique. The over-estimation of photon counts caused by the CT-based model used for the patient table was improved by the TX-based technique. Therefore, TX-based AC of hardware using the PET/MRI system itself is possible and can produce more accurate images when compared to the CT-based hardware AC in cardiac PET images.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.



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