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A new axial smoothing method based on elastic mapping

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8 Author(s)
Yang, J. ; Div. of Nucl. Med. & Biophys., California Univ., Los Angeles, CA, USA ; Huang, S.C. ; Lin, K.P. ; Czernin, J.
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New positron emission tomography (PET) scanners have higher axial and in-plane spatial resolutions but at the expense of reduced per plane sensitivity, which prevents the higher resolution from being fully realized. Normally, Gaussian-weighted interplane axial smoothing is used to reduce noise. In this study, the authors developed a new algorithm that first elastically maps adjacent planes, and then the mapped images are smoothed axially to reduce the image noise level. Compared to those obtained by the conventional axial-directional smoothing method, the images by the new method have improved signal-to-noise ratio. To quantify the signal-to-noise improvement, both simulated and real cardiac PET images were studied. Various Hanning reconstruction filters with cutoff frequency=0.5, 0.7, 1.0×Nyquist frequency and Ramp filter were tested on simulated images. Effective in-plane resolution was measured by the effective global Gaussian resolution (EGGR) and noise reduction was evaluated by the cross-correlation coefficient. Results showed that the new method was robust to various noise levels and indicated larger noise reduction or better image feature preservation (i.e., smaller EGGR) than by the conventional method

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Nuclear Science, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:43 ,  Issue: 6 )