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Analytical-Based Partial Volume Recovery in Mouse Heart Imaging

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2 Author(s)
Dumouchel, T. ; Dept. of Phys., Carleton Univ., Ottawa, ON, Canada ; deKemp, R.A.

Positron emission tomography (PET) is a powerful imaging modality that has the ability to yield quantitative images of tracer activity. Physical phenomena such as photon scatter, photon attenuation, random coincidences and spatial resolution limit quantification potential and must be corrected to preserve the accuracy of reconstructed images. This study focuses on correcting the partial volume effects that arise in mouse heart imaging when resolution is insufficient to resolve the true tracer distribution in the myocardium. The correction algorithm is based on fitting 1D profiles through the myocardium in gated PET images to derive myocardial contours along with blood, background and myocardial activity. This information is interpolated onto a 2D grid and convolved with the tomograph's point spread function to derive regional recovery coefficients enabling partial volume correction. The point spread function was measured by placing a line source inside a small animal PET scanner. PET simulations were created based on noise properties measured from a reconstructed PET image and on the digital MOBY phantom. The algorithm can estimate the myocardial activity to within 5% of the truth when different wall thicknesses, backgrounds and noise properties are encountered that are typical of healthy FDG mouse scans. The method also significantly improves partial volume recovery in simulated infarcted tissue. The algorithm offers a practical solution to the partial volume problem without the need for co-registered anatomic images and offers a basis for improved quantitative 3D heart imaging.

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Nuclear Science, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:58 ,  Issue: 1 )