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Positron emission tomography (PET) has become a leading modality in molecular imaging. Demands for further improvements in spatial resolution and sensitivity remain high with growing number of applications. In this paper we present a novel PET system design that integrates a high-resolution depth-of-interaction (DOI) detector into an existing PET system to obtain higher-resolution and higher-sensitivity images in a target region around the face of the high-resolution detector. A unique feature of the proposed PET system is that the high-resolution detector can be adaptively positioned based on the detectability or quantitative accuracy of a feature of interest. This paper focuses on the signal-known-exactly, background-known-exactly (SKE-BKE) detection task. We perform theoretical analysis of lesion detectability using computer observers, and then develop methods that can efficiently calculate the optimal position of the high-resolution detector that maximizes the lesion detectability. We simulated incorporation of a high-resolution DOI detector into the microPET II scanner. Quantitative results verified that the new system has better performance than the microPET II scanner in terms of spatial resolution and lesion detectability, and that the optimal position for lesion detection can be reliably predicted by the proposed method.