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Electromagnetic Interactions in a Shielded PET/MRI System for Simultaneous PET/MR Imaging in 9.4 T: Evaluation and Results

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8 Author(s)
Maramraju, S.H. ; Biomed. Eng. Dept., Stony Brook Univ., Stony Brook, NY, USA ; Smith, S.D. ; Rescia, S. ; Stoll, S.
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We previously integrated a magnetic resonance-(MR-) compatible small-animal positron emission tomograph (PET) in a Bruker 9.4 T microMRI system to obtain simultaneous PET/MR images of a rat's brain and of a gated mouse-heart. To minimize electromagnetic interactions in our MR-PET system, viz., the effect of radiofrequency (RF) pulses on the PET, we tested our modular front-end PET electronics with various shield configurations, including a solid aluminum shield and one of thin segmented layers of copper. We noted that the gradient-echo RF pulses did not affect PET data when the PET electronics were shielded with either the aluminum- or the segmented copper-shields. However, there were spurious counts in the PET data resulting from high-intensity fast spin-echo RF pulses. Compared to the unshielded condition, they were attenuated effectively by the aluminum shield (~97%) and the segmented copper shield (~90%). We noted a decline in the noise rates as a function of increasing PET energy-discriminator threshold. In addition, we observed a notable decrease in the signal-to-noise ratio in spin-echo MR images with the segmented copper shields in place; however, this did not substantially degrade the quality of the MR images we obtained. Our results demonstrate that by surrounding a compact PET scanner with thin layers of segmented copper shields and integrating it inside a 9.4 T MR system, we can mitigate the impact of the RF on PET, while acquiring good-quality MR images.

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Nuclear Science, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:59 ,  Issue: 5 )