First experimental results of time-of-flight reconstruction on an LSO PET scanner

Phys Med Biol. 2005 Oct 7;50(19):4507-26. doi: 10.1088/0031-9155/50/19/006. Epub 2005 Sep 13.


Time-of-flight (TOF) positron emission tomography (PET) was studied and preliminarily developed in the 1980s, but the lack of a scintillator able to deliver at the same time proper time resolution and stopping power has prevented this technique from becoming widespread and commercially available. With the introduction of LSO in PET, TOF is now a feasible option. TOF reconstruction has been implemented in the CPS Hi-Rez PET scanner, both with 2D filtered-back-projection (FBP2D) and 3D ordered subset expectation maximization (OSEM3D). A new procedure has been introduced in the time alignment to compensate for the limited digital time resolution of the present electronics. A preliminary version of scatter correction for TOF has been devised and is presented. The measured time resolution of 1.2 ns (FWHM) allowed for a signal-to-noise ratio increase of about 50% in phantoms of about 40 cm transaxial size, or a gain larger than 2 in noise equivalent counts (NEC). TOF reconstruction has shown the expected improvement in SNR, both in simulation and experimental data. First experimental results show two improvements of TOF reconstruction over conventional (non-TOF) reconstruction: a lower noise level and a better capability to resolve structures deep inside large objects.

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms*
  • Humans
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted
  • Liver / diagnostic imaging*
  • Lung / diagnostic imaging*
  • Phantoms, Imaging*
  • Positron-Emission Tomography / instrumentation
  • Positron-Emission Tomography / methods*
  • Radiography