Human and small-animal positron emission tomography (PET) scanners with cylindrical geometry and conventional detectors exhibit a progressive reduction in radial spatial resolution with increasing radial distance from the geometric axis of the scanner. This "depth-of-interaction" (DOI) effect is sufficiently deleterious that many laboratories have devised novel schemes to reduce the magnitude of this effect and thereby yield PET images of greater quantitative accuracy. Here we examine experimentally the effects of a particular DOI correction method (dual-scintillator phoswich detectors with pulse shape discrimination) implemented in a smallanimal PET scanner by comparing the same phantom and same mouse images with and without DOI correction. The results suggest that even this relatively coarse, two-level estimate of radial gamma ray interaction position significantly reduces the DOI parallax error. This study also confirms two less appreciated advantages of DOI correction: a reduction in radial distortion and radial source displacement as a source is moved toward the edge of the field of view and a resolution improvement detectable in the central field of view likely owing to improved spatial sampling.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Medicine
- Biomedical Engineering
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Condensed Matter Physics