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Several researchers have proven the benefits of using time-of-flight data in Positron Emission Tomography (TOFPET). One of the characteristics of TOFPET which has not been previously explored is the ability to carry out real-time image reconstruction. The advantages of real-time reconstruction are four-fold: 1) Immediate visual feedback of image build-up, 2) Substantial savings of image memory, 3) Faster thoughput of patients through the system and 4) Region-of-interest reconstruction for further memory savings. We present a generalized mathematical model describing this technique together with computer simulations demonstrating its feasibility. We also discuss the implementation of this real-time reconstruction scheme in the TOFPET scanner currently under construction at our institution.
Date of Publication: Feb. 1982