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This paper presents the design and characteristics of a front-end readout application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) dedicated to a multichannel-plate photodetector coupled to LYSO scintillating crystals. In our configuration, the crystals are oriented in the axial direction readout on both sides by individual photodetector channels allowing the spatial resolution and the detection efficiency to be independent of each other. Both energy signals and timing triggers from the photodetectors are required to be read out by the front-end ASIC. A current-mode charge-sensitive amplifier is proposed for this application. This paper presents performance characteristics of a 10-channel prototype chip designed and fabricated in a 0.35-μm complementary metal-oxide semiconductor process. The main results of simulations and measurements are presented and discussed. The gain of the chip is 13.1 mV/pC while the peak time of a CR-RC pulse shaper is 280 ns. The signal-to-noise ratio is 39 dB and the rms noise is 300 μV/√(Hz). The nonlinearity is less than 3% and the crosstalk is about 0.2%. The power dissipation is less than 15 mW/channel. This prototype will be extended to a 64-channel circuit with integrated time-to-digital converter and analog-to-digital converter together for a high-sensitive small-animal positron emission tomography imaging system.