Objective: This study aims to assess the impact of different image reconstruction methods on PET/CT quantitative volumetric and textural parameters and the inter-reconstruction variability of these measurements. Methods: A total of 25 oncology patients with 65 lesions (between 2017 and 2018) and a phantom with signal-to-background ratios (SBR) of 2 and 4 were included. All images were retrospectively reconstructed using OSEM, PSF only, TOF only, and TOFPSF with 3-, 5-, and 6.4-mm Gaussian filters. The metabolic tumor volume (MTV) and total lesion glycolysis (TLG) were measured. The relative percent error (ΔMTV and ΔTLG) with respect to true values, volume recovery coefficients, and Dice similarity coefficient, as well as inter-reconstruction variabilities were quantified and assessed. In clinical scans, textural features (coefficient of variation, skewness, and kurtosis) were determined. Results: Among reconstruction methods, mean ΔMTV differed by -163.5 ± 14.1% to 6.3 ± 6.2% at SBR2 and -42.7 ± 36.7% to 8.6 ± 3.1 at SBR4. Dice similarity coefficient significantly increased by increasing SBR from 2 to 4, ranging from 25.7 to 83.4% between reconstruction methods. Mean ΔTLG was -12.0 ± 1.7 for diameters > 17 mm and -17.8 ± 7.8 for diameters ≤ 17 mm at SBR4. It was -31.7 ± 4.3 for diameters > 17 mm and -14.2 ± 5.8 for diameters ≤ 17 mm at SBR2. Textural features were prone to variations by reconstruction methods (p < 0.05). Conclusions: Inter-reconstruction variability was significantly affected by the target size, SBR, and cut-off threshold value. In small tumors, inter-reconstruction variability was noteworthy, and quantitative parameters were strongly affected. TOFPSF reconstruction with small filter size produced greater improvements in performance and accuracy in quantitative PET/CT imaging. Key Points: • Quantitative volumetric PET evaluation is critical for the analysis of tumors. • However, volumetric and textural evaluation is prone to important variations according to different image reconstruction settings. • TOFPSF reconstruction with small filter size improves quantitative analysis.
- Image reconstruction
- Radiation oncology
- Tumor burden
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging