Modem high-resolution PET is now more than ever in need of scrutiny into the nature and limitations of the imaging modality itself as well as image reconstruction techniques. In this work, we have reviewed, analysed and addressed the following three considerations within the particular context of state-of-the-art dynamic PET imaging: (i) the typical average numbers of events per line-of-response (LOR) are now (much) less than unity, (ii) due to the physical and biological decay of the activity distribution, one requires robust and efficient reconstruction algorithms applicable to a wide range of statistics and (iii) the computational considerations in dynamic imaging are much enhanced (i.e., more frames to be stored and reconstructed). Within the framework of statistical image reconstruction, we have argued theoretically and shown experimentally that the sinogram non-negativity constraint (when using the delayed-coincidence and/or scatter-subtraction techniques) is especially expected to result in an overestimation bias. Subsequently, two schemes are considered: (a) subtraction techniques in which an image non-negativity constraint has been imposed and (b) implementation of random and scatter estimates inside the reconstruction algorithms, thus enabling direct processing of Poisson-distributed prompts. Both techniques are able to remove the aforementioned bias, while the latter, being better conditioned theoretically, is able to exhibit superior noise characteristics. We have also elaborated upon and verified the applicability of the accelerated list-mode image reconstruction method as a powerful solution for accurate, robust and efficient dynamic reconstructions of high-resolution data (as well as a number of additional benefits in the context of state-of-the-art PET).
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging