Program for PET image alignment: Effects on calculated differences in cerebral metabolic rates for glucose

R. L. Phillips, E. D. London, J. M. Links, N. G. Cascella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


A program was developed to align positron emission tomography images from multiple studies on the same subject. The program allowed alignment of two images with a fineness of one-tenth the width of a pixel. The indications and effects of misalignment were assessed in eight subjects from a placebo-controlled double-blind crossover study on the effects of cocaine on regional cerebral metabolic rates for glucose. Visual examination of a difference image provided a sensitive and accurate tool for assessing image alignment. Image alignment within 2.8 mm was essential to reduce variability of measured cerebral metabolic rates for glucose. Misalignment by this amount introduced errors on the order of 20% in the computed metabolic rate for glucose. These errors propagate to the difference between metabolic rates for a subject measured in basal versus perturbed states.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2052-2057
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Nuclear Medicine
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 1990


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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