Multimodality molecular imaging using high resolution positron emission tomography (PET) combined with other modalities is now playing a pivotal role in basic and clinical research. The introduction of combined PET/CT systems in clinical setting has revolutionized the practice of diagnostic imaging. The complementarity between the intrinsically aligned anatomic (CT) and functional or metabolic (PET) information provided in a “one-stop shop” and the possibility to use CT images for attenuation correction of the PET data has been the driving force behind the success of this technology. On the other hand, combining PET with Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) in a single gantry is technically more challenging owing to the strong magnetic fields. Nevertheless, significant progress has been made resulting in the design of few preclinical PET systems and one human prototype dedicated for simultaneous PET/MR brain imaging. This paper discusses recent advances in PET instrumentation and the advantages and challenges of multimodality imaging systems. Future opportunities and the challenges facing the adoption of multimodality imaging instrumentation will also be addressed.
Instrumentation; multimodality imaging; PET; PET/CT; PET/MR
Use of PET/MR in children has not previously been reported, to the best of our knowledge. Children with systemic malignancies may benefit from the reduced radiation exposure offered by PET/MR. We report our initial experience with PET/MR hybrid imaging and our current established sequence protocol after 21 PET/MR studies in 15 children with multifocal malignant diseases. The effective dose of a PET/MR scan was only about 20% that of the equivalent PET/CT examination. Simultaneous acquisition of PET and MR data combines the advantages of the two previously separate modalities. Furthermore, the technique also enables whole-body diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) and statements to be made about the biological cellularity and nuclear/cytoplasmic ratio of tumours. Combined PET/MR saves time and resources. One disadvantage of PET/MR is that in order to have an effect, a significantly longer examination time is needed than with PET/CT. In our initial experience, PET/MR has turned out to be an unexpectedly stable and reliable hybrid imaging modality, which generates a complementary diagnostic study of great additional value.
Children; PET/MR; MR/PET; Oncology; Hybrid imaging
A number of factors have to be considered for implementing an accurate attenuation correction (AC) in a combined MR-PET scanner. In this work, some of these challenges were investigated and an AC method based entirely on the MR data obtained with a single dedicated sequence was developed and used for neurological studies performed with the MR-PET human brain scanner prototype.
The focus was on the bone/air segmentation problem, the bone linear attenuation coefficient selection and the RF coil positioning. The impact of these factors on the PET data quantification was studied in simulations and experimental measurements performed on the combined MR-PET scanner. A novel dual-echo ultra-short echo time (DUTE) MR sequence was proposed for head imaging. Simultaneous MR-PET data were acquired and the PET images reconstructed using the proposed MR-DUTE-based AC method were compared with the PET images reconstructed using a CT-based AC.
Our data suggest that incorrectly accounting for the bone tissue attenuation can lead to large underestimations (>20%) of the radiotracer concentration in the cortex. Assigning a linear attenuation coefficient of 0.143 or 0.151 cm−1 to bone tissue appears to give the best trade-off between bias and variability in the resulting images. Not identifying the internal air cavities introduces large overestimations (>20%) in adjacent structures. Based on these results, the segmented CT AC method was established as the “silver standard” for the segmented MR-based AC method. Particular to an integrated MR-PET scanner, ignoring the RF coil attenuation can cause large underestimations (i.e. up to 50%) in the reconstructed images. Furthermore, the coil location in the PET field of view has to be accurately known. Good quality bone/air segmentation can be performed using the DUTE data. The PET images obtained using the MR-DUTE- and CT-based AC methods compare favorably in most of the brain structures.
An MR-DUTE-based AC method was implemented considering all these factors and our preliminary results suggest that this method could potentially be as accurate as the segmented CT method and it could be used for quantitative neurological MR-PET studies.
simultaneous MR-PET; attenuation correction; ultra-short echo time MR sequence; brain imaging; head segmentation
Positron emission tomography (PET) is a non-invasive imaging modality, which is clinically widely used both for diagnosis and accessing therapy response in oncology, cardiology and neurology.
Fusing PET and CT images in a single dataset would be useful for physicians who could read the functional and the anatomical aspects of a disease in a single shot.
The use of fusion software has been replaced in the last few years by integrated PET/CT systems, which combine a PET and a CT scanner in the same gantry. CT images have the double function to correct PET images for attenuation and can fuse with PET for a better visualization and localization of lesions. The use of CT for attenuation correction yields several advantages in terms of accuracy and patient comfort, but can also introduce several artefacts on PET-corrected images.
PET/CT image artefacts are due primarily to metallic implants, respiratory motion, use of contrast media and image truncation. This paper reviews different types artefacts and their correction methods.
PET/CT improves image quality and image accuracy. However, to avoid possible pitfalls the simultaneous display of both Computed Tomography Attenuation Corrected (CTAC) and non corrected PET images, side by side with CT images is strongly recommended.
PET/CT; artefacts; attenuation correction
Noninvasive methods are needed to explore the heterogeneous tumor microenvironment and its modulation by therapy. Hybrid PET/MRI systems are being developed for small-animal and clinical use. The advantage of these integrated systems depends on their ability to provide MR images that are spatially coincident with simultaneously acquired PET images, allowing combined functional MRI and PET studies of intratissue heterogeneity. Although much effort has been devoted to developing this new technology, the issue of quantitative and spatial fidelity of PET images from hybrid PET/MRI systems to the tissues imaged has received little attention. Here, we evaluated the ability of a first-generation, small-animal MRI-compatible PET scanner to accurately depict heterogeneous patterns of radiotracer uptake in tumors.
Quantitative imaging characteristics of the MRI-compatible PET (PET/MRI) scanner were evaluated with phantoms using calibration coefficients derived from a mouse-sized linearity phantom. PET performance was compared with a commercial small-animal PET system and autoradiography in tumor-bearing mice. Pixel and structure-based similarity metrics were used to evaluate image concordance among modalities. Feasibility of simultaneous PET/MRI functional imaging of tumors was explored by following 64Cu-labeled antibody uptake in relation to diffusion MRI using cooccurrence matrix analysis.
The PET/MRI scanner showed stable and linear response. Activity concentration recovery values (measured and true activity concentration) calculated for 4-mm-diameter rods within linearity and uniform activity rod phantoms were near unity (0.97 ± 0.06 and 1.03 ± 0.03, respectively). Intratumoral uptake patterns for both 18F-FDG and a 64Cu-antibody acquired using the PET/MRI scanner and small-animal PET were highly correlated with autoradiography (r > 0.99) and with each other (r = 0.97 ± 0.01). On the basis of these data, we performed a preliminary study comparing diffusion MRI and radiolabeled antibody uptake patterns over time and visualized movement of antibodies from the vascular space into the tumor mass.
The MRI-compatible PET scanner provided tumor images that were quantitatively accurate and spatially concordant with autoradiography and the small-animal PET examination. Cooccurrence matrix approaches enabled effective analysis of multimodal image sets. These observations confirm the ability of the current simultaneous PET/MRI system to provide accurate observations of intratumoral function and serve as a benchmark for future evaluations of hybrid instrumentation.
PET/MRI; multimodal imaging; tumor heterogeneity; quantitative molecular imaging; preclinical
Over the last decade, small-animal PET imaging has become a vital platform technology in cancer research. With the development of molecularly targeted therapies and drug combinations requiring evaluation of different schedules, the number of animals to be imaged within a PET experiment has increased. This paper describes experimental design requirements to reach statistical significance, based on the expected change in tracer uptake in treated animals as compared to the control group, the number of groups that will be imaged, and the expected intra-animal variability for a given tracer. We also review how high-throughput studies can be performed in dedicated small-animal PET, high-resolution clinical PET systems and planar positron imaging systems by imaging more than one animal simultaneously. Customized beds designed to image more than one animal in large-bore small-animal PET scanners are described. Physics issues related to the presence of several rodents within the field of view (i.e. deterioration of spatial resolution and sensitivity as the radial and the axial offsets increase, respectively, as well as a larger effect of attenuation and the number of scatter events), which can be assessed by using the NEMA NU 4 image quality phantom, are detailed.
High throughput; Sample size; Clinical PET/CT; Small-animal PET; Planar positron imaging systems; NEMA NU 4; Animal models
PET and MRI provide complementary information in the study of the human brain. Simultaneous PET/MR data acquisition allows the spatial and temporal correlation of the measured signals, opening up opportunities impossible to realize using stand-alone instruments. This paper reviews the methodological improvements and potential neurological and psychiatric applications of this novel technology. We first present methods for improving the performance and information content of each modality by using the information provided by the other technique. On the PET side, we discuss methods that use the simultaneously acquired MR data to improve the PET data quantification. On the MR side, we present how improved PET quantification could be used to validate a number of MR techniques. Finally, we describe promising research, translational and clinical applications that could benefit from these advanced tools.
simultaneous PET/MRI; multimodal imaging; neurology
Positron Emission Tomography (PET) images are prone to motion artefacts due to the long acquisition time of PET measurements. Recently, simultaneous magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and PET have become available in the first generation of Hybrid MR-PET scanners. In this work, the elimination of artefacts due to head motion in PET neuroimages is achieved by a new approach utilising MR-based motion tracking in combination with PET list mode data motion correction for simultaneous MR-PET acquisitions. The method comprises accurate MR-based motion measurements, an intra-frame motion minimising and reconstruction time reducing temporal framing algorithm, and a list mode based PET reconstruction which utilises the Ordinary Poisson Algorithm and avoids axial and transaxial compression. Compared to images uncorrected for motion, an increased image quality is shown in phantom as well as in vivo images. In vivo motion corrected images show an evident increase of contrast at the basal ganglia and a good visibility of uptake in tiny structures such as superior colliculi.
Since the 1990s, hybrid imaging by means of software and hardware image fusion alike allows the intrinsic combination of functional and anatomical image information. This review summarises the state-of-the-art of dual-modality imaging with a focus on clinical applications. We highlight selected areas for potential improvement of combined imaging technologies and new applications. In the second part, we briefly review the background of dual-modality PET/CT imaging, discuss its main applications and attempt to predict technological and methodological improvements of combined PET/CT imaging. After a decade of clinical evaluation, PET/CT will continue to have a significant impact on patient management, mainly in the area of oncological diseases. By adopting more innovative acquisition schemes and data processing PET/CT will become a fast and dose-efficient imaging method and an integral part of state-of-the-art clinical patient management.
Hybrid imaging; PET; CT; PET/CT
Glucose metabolism, perfusion, and water diffusion may have a relationship or affect each other in the same tumor. The understanding of their relationship could expand the knowledge of tumor characteristics and contribute to the field of oncologic imaging. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the relationships between metabolism, vasculature and cellularity of advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), using multimodality imaging such as 18F-FDG positron emission tomography (PET), dynamic contrast enhanced (DCE)-MRI, and diffusion weighted imaging(DWI).
Materials and Methods
Twenty-one patients with advanced HCC underwent 18F-FDG PET, DCE-MRI, and DWI before treatment. Maximum standard uptake values (SUVmax) from 18F-FDG-PET, variables of the volume transfer constant (Ktrans) from DCE-MRI and apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) from DWI were obtained for the tumor and their relationships were examined by Spearman’s correlation analysis. The influence of portal vein thrombosis on SUVmax and variables of Ktrans and ADC was evaluated by Mann-Whitney test.
SUVmax showed significant negative correlation with Ktransmax (ρ = −0.622, p = 0.002). However, variables of ADC showed no relationship with variables of Ktrans or SUVmax (p>0.05). Whether portal vein thrombosis was present or not did not influence the SUV max and variables of ADC and Ktrans (p>0.05).
In this study, SUV was shown to be correlated with Ktrans in advanced HCCs; the higher the glucose metabolism a tumor had, the lower the perfusion it had, which might help in guiding target therapy.
Parallel to the advances in diagnostic imaging using positron emission tomography (PET), and availability of new systemic treatment options, the treatment paradigm in oncology has shifted towards more aggressive therapeutic interventions to include cytoreductive techniques and metastasectomies. Intraoperative localization of PET positive recurrent/metastatic lesions can be facilitated using a hand-held PET probe.
Materials and methods
Records of patients who underwent PET probe-guided surgery were reviewed. Surgical indications and operative targets were determined based on diagnostic PET/PET-CT images performed prior to probe-guided surgical planning. PET probe-guided surgery was performed on a separate day using a high-energy gamma probe (PET probe, Care Wise Medical, Morgan Hills CA) 2–6 hours post-injection of 5–15 mCi FDG. Probe count rates, target-to-background ratios, and lesion detection success were analyzed.
Twenty-four patients underwent PET probe-guided surgery; one patient had two PET-probe guided surgeries resulting in a total of 25 cases (5 colorectal cancer cases, 4 thyroid cancer cases, 6 lymphoma cancer cases, and 10 other cancer cases). Surgical indication was diagnostic exploration in 6 cases with lymphoma and 1 case with head and neck cancer (28%). The remaining 18 cases (72%) underwent PET probe-guided surgery with a therapeutic intent in a recurrent or metastatic disease setting. All the lesions identified and targeted on a preoperative FDG-PET scan were detected by the PET probe with satisfactory in-vivo lesion count rates and a TBR of ≥ 1.5. PET probe allowed localization of lesions that were non-palpable and non-obvious at surgical exploration in 8 patients.
The use of the PET probe improves the success of surgical exploration in selected indications. Separate day protocol is clinically feasible allowing for flexible operating room scheduling.
Recent developments in diagnostic imaging techniques have magnified the role and potential of both MRI and PET-CT in female pelvic imaging. This article reviews the techniques and clinical applications of new functional MRI (fMRI) including diffusion-weighted MRI (DWI), dynamic contrast-enhanced (DCE)-MRI, comparing with PET-CT. These new emerging provide not only anatomic but also functional imaging, allowing detection of small volumes of active tumor at diagnosis and early disease relapse, which may not result in detectable morphological changes at conventional imaging. This information is useful in distinguishing between recurrent/residual tumor and post-treatment changes and assessing treatment response, with a clear impact on patient management. Both PET-CT and now fMRI have proved to be very valuable tools for evaluation of gynecologic tumors. Most papers try to compare these techniques, but in our experience both are complementary in management of these patients. Meanwhile PET-CT is superior in diagnosis of ganglionar disease; fMRI presents higher accuracy in local preoperative staging. Both techniques can be used as biomarkers of tumor response and present high accuracy in diagnosis of local recurrence and peritoneal dissemination, with complementary roles depending on histological type, anatomic location and tumoral volume.
Positron emission tomography (PET) is a powerful noninvasive tool for acquisition of the physiological parameters in human and animals with the help of PET tracers. Among all the PET tracers, radiolabeled peptides have been widely explored for cancer-related receptor imaging due to their high affinity and specificity to receptors. But radiochemistry procedures for production of peptide-based PET tracers are usually complex, which makes large-scale clinical studies relatively challenging. New radiolabeling technologies which could simplify synthesis and purification procedures, are extremely needed. Over the last decade, microfluidics and lab-on-a-chip (LOC) technology have boomed as powerful tools in the field of organic chemistry, which potentially provide significant help to the PET chemistry. In this minireview, microfluidic radiolabeling technology is described and its application for synthesis of peptide-based PET tracers is summarized and discussed.
Positron emission tomography (PET) can image a wide variety of functional and physiological parameters in vivo using different radiotracers. As more is learned about the molecular basis for disease and treatment, the potential value of molecular imaging for characterizing and monitoring disease status has increased. Characterizing multiple aspects of tumor physiology by imaging multiple PET tracers in a single patient provides additional complementary information, and there is a significant body of literature supporting the potential value of multi-tracer PET imaging in oncology. However, imaging multiple PET tracers in a single patient presents a number of challenges. A number of techniques are under development for rapidly imaging multiple PET tracers in a single scan, where signal-recovery processing algorithms are employed to recover various imaging endpoints for each tracer. Dynamic imaging is generally used with tracer injections staggered in time, and kinetic constraints are utilized to estimate each tracers' contribution to the multi-tracer imaging signal. This article summarizes past and ongoing work in multi-tracer PET tumor imaging, and then organizes and describes the main algorithmic approaches for achieving multi-tracer PET signal-recovery. While significant advances have been made, the complexity of the approach necessitates protocol design, optimization, and testing for each particular tracer combination and application. Rapid multi-tracer PET techniques have great potential for both research and clinical cancer imaging applications, and continued research in this area is warranted.
PET tracers; Tumor Characterizations
The most frequently used molecular imaging technique is currently 18F-deoxy-glucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET). FDG-PET holds promise in the evaluation of recurrent or residual ovarian cancer when CA125 levels are rising and conventional imaging, such as ultrasound, CT, or MRI, is inconclusive or negative. Recently, integrated PET/CT, in which a full-ring-detector clinical PET scanner and a multidetector helical CT scanner are combined, has enabled the acquisition of both metabolic and anatomic imaging data using one device in a single diagnostic session. This can also provide precise anatomic localization of suspicious areas of increased FDG uptake and rule out false-positive PET findings. FDG-PET/CT is an accurate modality for assessing primary and recurrent ovarian cancer and may affect management. FDG-PET/CT may provide benefits for detection of recurrent of ovarian cancer and improve surgical planning. And FDG-PET has been shown to predict response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy and survival in advanced ovarian cancer. This review focuses on the role of FDG-PET and FDG-PET/CT in the management of patients with ovarian cancer. Recently, we have evaluated 16α-18F-fluoro-17β-estradiol (FES)-PET, which detects estrogen receptors. In a preliminary study we reported that FES-PET provides information useful for assessing ER status in advanced ovarian cancer. This new information may expand treatment choice for such patients.
Multi-modal imaging is now well-established in routine clinical practice. Especially in the field of Nuclear Medicine, new PET installations are comprised almost exclusively of combined PET/CT scanners rather than PET-only systems. However, PET/CT has certain notable shortcomings, including the inability to perform simultaneous data acquisition and the significant radiation dose to the patient contributed by CT. MRI offers, compared to CT, better contrast among soft tissues as well as functional-imaging capabilities. Therefore, the combination of PET with MRI provides many advantages which go far beyond simply combining functional PET information with structural MRI information. Many technical challenges, including possible interference between these modalities, have to be solved when combining PET and MRI and various approaches have been adapted to resolving these issues. Here we present an overview of current working prototypes of combined PET/MRI scanners from different groups. In addition, besides PET/MR images of mice, the first such images of a rat PET/MR, acquired with the first commercial clinical PET/MRI scanner, are presented. The combination of PET and MR is a promising tool in pre-clinical research and will certainly progress to clinical application.
This overview of the oncologic applications of positron emission tomography (PET) focuses on the technical aspects and clinical applications of a newer technique: the combination of a PET scanner and a computed tomography (CT) scanner in a single (PET/CT) device. Examples illustrate how PET/CT contributes to patient care and improves upon the previous state-of-the-art method of comparing a PET scan with a separate CT scan. Finally, the author presents some of the results from studies of PET/CT imaging that are beginning to appear in the literature.
Positron Emission Tomography - Computer Tomography (PET-CT) is an interesting imaging technique to visualize Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) activity using specific PET tracers. Previous studies have shown that the PET tracers [18F]FDG and [11C](R)PK11195 can target inflammation (synovitis) in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and may therefore be useful in AS. Another interesting tracer for AS is [18F]Fluoride, which targets bone formation. In a pilot setting, the potential of PET-CT in imaging AS activity was tested using different tracers, with Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and conventional radiographs as reference.
In a stepwise approach different PET tracers were investigated. First, whole body [18F]FDG and [11C](R)PK11195 PET-CT scans were obtained of ten AS patients fulfilling the modified New York criteria. According to the BASDAI five of these patients had low and five had high disease activity. Secondly, an extra PET-CT scan using [18F]Fluoride was made of two additional AS patients with high disease activity. MRI scans of the total spine and sacroiliac joints were performed, and conventional radiographs of the total spine and sacroiliac joints were available for all patients. Scans and radiographs were visually scored by two observers blinded for clinical data.
No increased [18F]FDG and [11C](R)PK11195 uptake was noticed on PET-CT scans of the first 10 patients. In contrast, MRI demonstrated a total of five bone edema lesions in three out of 10 patients. In the two additional AS patients scanned with [18F]Fluoride PET-CT, [18F]Fluoride depicted 17 regions with increased uptake in both vertebral column and sacroiliac joints. In contrast, [18F]FDG depicted only three lesions, with an uptake of five times lower compared to [18F]Fluoride, and again no [11C](R)PK11195 positive lesions were found. In these two patients, MRI detected nine lesions and six out of nine matched with the anatomical position of [18F]Fluoride uptake. Conventional radiographs showed structural bony changes in 11 out of 17 [18F]Fluoride PET positive lesions.
Our PET-CT data suggest that AS activity is reflected by bone activity (formation) rather than inflammation. The results also show the potential value of PET-CT for imaging AS activity using the bone tracer [18F]Fluoride. In contrast to active RA, inflammation tracers [18F]FDG and [11C](R)PK11195 appeared to be less useful for AS imaging.
Prostate cancer is a common cancer in men and continues to be a major health problem. Imaging plays an essential role in the clinical management of patients. An important goal for prostate cancer imaging is more accurate disease characterization through the synthesis of anatomic, functional, and molecular imaging information. Developments in imaging technologies, specifically magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET)/computed tomography (CT), have improved the detection rate of prostate cancer. MRI has improved lesion detection and local staging. Furthermore, MRI allows functional assessment with techniques such as diffusion-weighted MRI, MR spectroscopy, and dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI. The most common PET radiotracer, 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose, is not very useful in prostate cancer. However, in recent years other PET tracers have improved the accuracy of PET/CT imaging of prostate cancer. Among these, choline (labeled with 18F or 11C), 11C-acetate, and 18F-fluoride have demonstrated promising results, and other new radiopharmaceuticals are currently under evaluation in preclinical and clinical studies.
Prostate cancer; Imaging; Positron emission tomograph; PET; PET/CT; Magnetic resonance imaging; MRI; Magnetic resonance spectroscopy; MRS; Dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI; Diffusion-weighted MRI
PET/CT is a relatively new imaging technology, whose undoubted advantages are valuable in clinical oncology as well as in all fields of diagnosis, staging, and treatment. The hardware combination of anatomy and function has been the true evolution in imaging. PET using 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) is increasingly used for the staging of solid malignancies, including colon, lung, etc., but anatomic information is limited. Integrated PET/CT enables optimal anatomic delineation of PET findings and identification of FDG-negative lesions on computed tomography (CT) images and might improve preoperative staging. However, controversy still exists in relation to the application of PET/CT in clinical practice, mainly because of its high cost. It is evident that apart from additional costs, potential savings also are associated with PET/CT as a result of avoiding additional imaging examinations or invasive procedures and by helping clinicians make the optimum treatment decisions. The authors review the literature on the role of PET/CT in management of various tumors and discuss the medicoeconomic usefulness.
cancer; PET; CT; imaging; diagnosis; 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG)
The rate of glucose utilization in tumor cells is significantly enhanced as compared to normal cells and this biochemical characteristic is utilized in PET imaging using FDG as a major workhorse. The PET systems as well as cyclotrons producing positron emitting radiopharmaceuticals have undergone continuous technological refinements. While PET (CT) systems enable fusion images as well as precise attenuation correction, the self-shielded cyclotrons developed provide dedicated systems for in-house production of a large number of PET radiopharmaceuticals. The application of PET images in oncology includes those of pulmonary, colorectal, breast, lymphoma, head & neck, bone, ovarian and GI cancers. The PET has been recognized as promising diagnostic tool to predict biological and physiological changes at the molecular level and hence offer a potential area for future applications including Stem Cell research.
Bismuth germinate (BGO); Flurodeoxyglucose (FDG); Lutetium oxyorthosilicate (LSO); Positron emission tomography
The advent of positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) provides fusion of both anatomical and functional information. CT-based attenuation correction replaced 68Ge-based attenuation correction for shortening acquisition time, improving image quality and quantitative accuracy. However, due to the temporal difference of PET and CT, mis-registration and motion artifacts are observed in the attenuation-corrected images mainly due to the respiratory motion. Reducing the spatial mismatch of the PET and CT reconstructed image remains a challenge. This review provides an introduction to various respiratory image artifacts reduction techniques especially for thoracic lesions, including breathing instruction based methods, CT protocol based methods and 4-dimensional PET/CT. The advantages and drawbacks of different methods are also discussed.
PET/CT; respiratory motion; artifacts; attenuation correction
We present a new registration method for whole-body rat computed tomography (CT) image and positron emission tomography (PET) images using a weighted demons algorithm. The CT and PET images are acquired in separate scanners at different times and the inherent differences in the imaging protocols produced significant nonrigid changes between the two acquisitions in addition to heterogeneous image characteristics. In this situation, we utilized both the transmission-PET and the emission-PET images in the deformable registration process emphasizing particular regions of the moving transmission-PET image using the emission-PET image. We validated our results with nine rat image sets using M-Hausdorff distance similarity measure. We demonstrate improved performance compared to standard methods such as Demons and normalized mutual information-based non-rigid FFD registration.
Whole body PET-CT image fusion
Background: Attenuation correction is generally used to PET images to achieve count rate values independent from tissue densities. The goal of this study was to provide a qualitative comparison of attenuation corrected PET images produced by a PET-CT device (CT, 120 kV, 40 mAs, FOV 600 mm) with and without segmentation of transmission data (ACseg+ and ACseg-respectively). Methods: The reconstructed images were compared to attenuation corrected images obtained with a high-energy transmission source (Cs-137 – 662 keV).
Thirty oncologic patients were studied using CT and 137Cs for attenuation correction. All image data were acquired using the Gemini PET-CT scanner (Philips Medical Systems). It is an open PET-CT system that consists of the MX8000 multislice CT and the Allegro PET scanner arranged in a separable configuration. Images with ACseg+ and ACseg- were analyzed simultaneously in coronal, sagittal and transaxial planes. Two nuclear medicine physicians reviewed the image sets. Results: The image quality in the area of metal implants was better with ACseg+ than ACseg-, without metal induced artifacts generally observed in CT corrected images. Further the images with ACseg+ were qualitatively comparable to those obtained with 137Cs attenuation correction. Conclusions: In case of metal implants, PET studies corrected by CT should preferably use the ACseg+ method to avoid the image artifacts.
Hybrid PET/CT scanners can simultaneously visualize coronary artery disease as revealed by computed tomography (CT) and myocardial perfusion as measured by positron emission tomography (PET). Manual registration is usually required in clinical practice to compensate spatial mismatch between datasets. In this paper, we present a registration algorithm that is able to automatically align PET/CT cardiac images. The algorithm bases on mutual information (MI) as registration metric and on genetic algorithm as optimization method. A multiresolution approach was used to optimize the processing time. The algorithm was tested on computerized models of volumetric PET/CT cardiac data and on real PET/CT datasets. The proposed automatic registration algorithm smoothes the pattern of the MI and allows it to reach the global maximum of the similarity function. The implemented method also allows the definition of the correct spatial transformation that matches both synthetic and real PET and CT volumetric datasets.