Attenuation correction of PET cardiac data with low-dose average CT in PET/CT

Med Phys. 2006 Oct;33(10):3931-8. doi: 10.1118/1.2349843.


We proposed a low-dose average computer tomography (ACT) for attenuation correction (AC) of the PET cardiac data in PET/CT. The ACT was obtained from a cine CT scan of over one breath cycle per couch position while the patient was free breathing. We applied this technique on four patients who underwent tumor imaging with 18F-FDG in PET/CT, whose PET data showed high uptake of 18F-FDG in the heart and whose CT and PET data had misregistration. All four patients did not have known myocardiac infarction or ischemia. The patients were injected with 555-740 MBq of 18F-FDG and scanned 1 h after injection. The helical CT (HCT) data were acquired in 16 s for the coverage of 100 cm. The PET acquisition was 3 min per bed of 15 cm. The duration of cine CT acquisition per 2 cm was 5.9 s. We used a fast gantry rotation cycle time of 0.5 s to minimize motion induced reconstruction artifacts in the cine CT images, which were averaged to become the ACT images for AC of the PET data. The radiation dose was about 5 mGy for 5.9 s cine duration. The selection of 5.9 s was based on our analysis of the respiratory signals of 600 patients; 87% of the patients had average breath cycles of less than 6 s and 90% had standard deviations of less than 1 s in the period of breath cycle. In all four patient studies, registrations between the CT and the PET data were improved. An increase of average uptake in the anterior and the lateral walls up to 48% and a decrease of average uptake in the septal and the inferior walls up to 16% with ACT were observed. We also compared ACT and conventional slow scan CT (SSCT) of 4 s duration in one patient study and found ACT was better than SSCT in depicting average respiratory motion and the SSCT images showed motion-induced reconstruction artifacts. In conclusion, low-dose ACT improved registration of the CT and the PET data in the heart region in our study of four patients. ACT was superior than SSCT for depicting average respiration motion in a patient study.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Artifacts
  • Heart
  • Humans
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Myocardium / pathology*
  • Positron-Emission Tomography / instrumentation*
  • Positron-Emission Tomography / methods*
  • Respiration
  • Subtraction Technique
  • Tomography Scanners, X-Ray Computed*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*