Validation of GATE Monte Carlo simulations of the GE Advance/Discovery LS PET scanners

Med Phys. 2006 Jan;33(1):198-208. doi: 10.1118/1.2089447.


The recently developed GATE (GEANT4 application for tomographic emission) Monte Carlo package, designed to simulate positron emission tomography (PET) and single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) scanners, provides the ability to model and account for the effects of photon noncollinearity, off-axis detector penetration, detector size and response, positron range, photon scatter, and patient motion on the resolution and quality of PET images. The objective of this study is to validate a model within GATE of the General Electric (GE) Advance/Discovery Light Speed (LS) PET scanner. Our three-dimensional PET simulation model of the scanner consists of 12 096 detectors grouped into blocks, which are grouped into modules as per the vendor's specifications. The GATE results are compared to experimental data obtained in accordance with the National Electrical Manufactures Association/Society of Nuclear Medicine (NEMA/SNM), NEMA NU 2-1994, and NEMA NU 2-2001 protocols. The respective phantoms are also accurately modeled thus allowing us to simulate the sensitivity, scatter fraction, count rate performance, and spatial resolution. In-house software was developed to produce and analyze sinograms from the simulated data. With our model of the GE Advance/Discovery LS PET scanner, the ratio of the sensitivities with sources radially offset 0 and 10 cm from the scanner's main axis are reproduced to within 1% of measurements. Similarly, the simulated scatter fraction for the NEMA NU 2-2001 phantom agrees to within less than 3% of measured values (the measured scatter fractions are 44.8% and 40.9 +/- 1.4% and the simulated scatter fraction is 43.5 +/- 0.3%). The simulated count rate curves were made to match the experimental curves by using deadtimes as fit parameters. This resulted in deadtime values of 625 and 332 ns at the Block and Coincidence levels, respectively. The experimental peak true count rate of 139.0 kcps and the peak activity concentration of 21.5 kBq/cc were matched by the simulated results to within 0.5% and 0.1% respectively. The simulated count rate curves also resulted in a peak NECR of 35.2 kcps at 10.8 kBq/cc compared to 37.6 kcps at 10.0 kBq/cc from averaged experimental values. The spatial resolution of the simulated scanner matched the experimental results to within 0.2 mm.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Equipment Failure Analysis / methods*
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Models, Biological*
  • Models, Statistical
  • Monte Carlo Method*
  • Positron-Emission Tomography / instrumentation*
  • Positron-Emission Tomography / methods*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Software*