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A single-bed, whole-body positron emission tomograph based on resistive plate chambers has been proposed (RPC-PET). An RPC-PET system with an axial field-of-view (AFOV) of 2.4 m has been shown in simulation to have higher system sensitivity using the NEMA NU2-1994 protocol than commercial PET scanners. However, that protocol does not correlate directly with lesion detectability. The latter is better correlated with the planar (slice) sensitivity, obtained with a NEMA NU2-2001 line-source phantom. After validation with published data for the GE Advance, Siemens TruePoint and TrueV, we study by simulation their axial sensitivity profiles, comparing results with RPC-PET. Planar sensitivities indicate that RPC-PET is expected to outperform 16-cm (22-cm) AFOV scanners by a factor 5.8 (3.0) for 70-cm-long scans. For 1.5-m scans (head to mid-legs), the sensitivity gain increases to 11.7 (6.7). Yet, PET systems with large AFOV provide larger coverage but also larger attenuation in the object. We studied these competing effects with both spherical- and line-sources immersed in a 27-cm-diameter water cylinder. For 1.5-m-long scans, the planar sensitivity drops one order of magnitude in all scanners, with RPC-PET outperforming 16-cm (22-cm) AFOV scanners by a factor 9.2 (5.3) without considering the TOF benefit. A gain in the effective sensitivity is expected with TOF iterative reconstruction. Finally, object scatter in an anthropomorphic phantom is similar for RPC-PET and modern, scintillator-based scanners, although RPC-PET benefits further if its TOF information is utilized to exclude scatter events occurring outside the anthropomorphic phantom.