The design and implementation of a motion correction scheme for neurological PET

Phys Med Biol. 2003 Apr 21;48(8):959-78. doi: 10.1088/0031-9155/48/8/301.


A method is described to monitor the motion of the head during neurological positron emission tomography (PET) acquisitions and to correct the data post acquisition for the recorded motion prior to image reconstruction. The technique uses an optical tracking system, Polaris, to accurately monitor the position of the head during the PET acquisition. The PET data are acquired in list mode where the events are written directly to disk during acquisition. The motion tracking information is aligned to the PET data using a sequence of pseudo-random numbers, which are inserted into the time tags in the list mode event stream through the gating input interface on the tomograph. The position of the head is monitored during the transmission acquisition, and it is assumed that there is minimal head motion during this measurement. Each event, prompt and delayed, in the list mode event stream is corrected for motion and transformed into the transmission space. For a given line of response, normalization, including corrections for detector efficiency, geometry and crystal interference and dead time are applied prior to motion correction and rebinning in the sinogram. A series of phantom experiments were performed to confirm the accuracy of the method: (a) a point source located in three discrete axial positions in the tomograph field of view, 0 mm, 10 mm and 20 mm from a reference point, (b) a multi-line source phantom rotated in both discrete and gradual rotations through +/- 5 degrees and +/- 15 degrees, including a vertical and horizontal movement in the plane. For both phantom experiments images were reconstructed for both the fixed and motion corrected data. Measurements for resolution, full width at half maximum (FWHM) and full width at tenth maximum (FWTM), were calculated from these images and a comparison made between the fixedand motion corrected datasets. From the point source measurements, the FWHM at each axial position was 7.1 mm in the horizontal direction, and increasing from 4.7 mm at the 0 mm position, to 4.8 mm, 20 mm offset, in the vertical direction. The results from the multi-line source phantom with +/- 5 degrees rotations showed a maximum degradation in FWHM, when compared with the stationary phantom, of 0.6 mm, in the horizontal direction, and 0.3 mm in the vertical direction. The corresponding values for the larger rotation, +/- 15 degrees, were 0.7 mm and 1.1 mm, respectively. The performance of the method was confirmed with a Hoffman brain phantom moved continuously, and a clinical acquisition using [11C]raclopride (normal volunteer). A visual comparison of both the motion and non-motion corrected images of the Hoffman brain phantom clearly demonstrated the efficacy of the method. A sample time-activity curve extracted from the clinical study showed irregularities prior to motion correction, which were removed after correction. A method has been developed to accurately monitor the motion of the head during a neurological PET acquisition, and correct for this motion prior to image reconstruction. The method has been demonstrated to be accurate and does not add significantly to either the acquisition or the subsequent data processing.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms*
  • Artifacts
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging*
  • Equipment Design
  • Equipment Failure Analysis
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Head Movements / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Image Enhancement / instrumentation*
  • Image Enhancement / methods*
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted / instrumentation
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted / methods
  • Motion
  • Phantoms, Imaging
  • Quality Control
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed / instrumentation*
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed / methods*