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Phantom studies investigating extravascular density imaging for partial volume correction of 3-D PET 18FDG studies

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3 Author(s)
Wassenaar, R.W. ; Carleton Univ., Ottawa, Ont., Canada ; Beanlands, R.S.B. ; deKemp, R.A.

Limited scanner resolution and cardiac motion contribute to partial volume (PV) averaging of cardiac PET images. An extravascular (EV) density image, created from the subtraction of a blood pool scan from a transmission image, has been used to correct for PV averaging in H215O studies using 2-D imaging but not with 3-D imaging of other tracers such as 18FDG. A cardiac phantom emulating the left ventricle was used to characterize the method for use in 3-D PET studies. Measurement of the average myocardial activity showed PV losses of 32% below the true activity (p<0.001). Initial application of the EV density correction still yielded a myocardial activity 13% below the true value (p<0.001). This failure of the EV density image was due to the 1.66 mm thick plastic barrier separating the myocardial and ventricular chambers within the phantom. Upon removal of this artifact by morphological dilation of the blood pool, the corrected myocardial value was within 2% of the true value (p=ns). Spherical ROIs (diameter of 2 to 10 mm), evenly distributed about the myocardium, were also used to calculate the average activity. The EV density image was able to account for PV averaging throughout the range of diameters to within a 5% accuracy, however, a small bias was seen as the size of the ROIs increased. This indicated a slight mismatch between the emission and transmission image resolutions, a result of the difference in data acquisitions (i.e., span and ring difference) and default smoothing. These results show that the use of EV density image to correct for PV averaging is possible with 3-D PET. A method of correcting barrier effects in phantoms has been presented, as well as a process for evaluating resolution mismatch.

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Nuclear Science, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:51 ,  Issue: 1 )