Quantitation of respiratory motion during 4D-PET/CT acquisition

Med Phys. 2004 Jun;31(6):1333-8. doi: 10.1118/1.1739671.


We report on the variability of the respiratory motion during 4D-PET/CT acquisition. The respiratory motion for five lung cancer patients was monitored by tracking external markers placed on the abdomen. CT data were acquired over an entire respiratory cycle at each couch position. The x-ray tube status was recorded by the tracking system, for retrospective sorting of the CT data as a function of respiration phase. Each respiratory cycle was sampled in ten equal bins. 4D-PET data were acquired in gated mode, where each breathing cycle was divided into ten 500 ms bins. For both CT and PET acquisition, patients received audio prompting to regularize breathing. The 4D-CT and 4D-PET data were then correlated according to their respiratory phases. The respiratory periods, and average amplitude within each phase bin, acquired in both modality sessions were then analyzed. The average respiratory motion period during 4D-CT was within 18% from that in the 4D-PET sessions. This would reflect up to 1.8% fluctuation in the duration of each 4D-CT bin. This small uncertainty enabled good correlation between CT and PET data, on a phase-to-phase basis. Comparison of the average-amplitude within the respiration trace, between 4D-CT and 4D- PET, on a bin-by-bin basis show a maximum deviation of approximately 15%. This study has proved the feasibility of performing 4D-PET/CT acquisition. Respiratory motion was in most cases consistent between PET and CT sessions, thereby improving both the attenuation correction of PET images, and co-registration of PET and CT images. On the other hand, in two patients, there was an increased partial irregularity in their breathing motion, which would prevent accurately correlating the corresponding PET and CT images.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biophysical Phenomena
  • Biophysics
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Lung Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Movement
  • Positron-Emission Tomography / methods*
  • Respiratory Mechanics*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*