Respiratory gating in positron emission tomography: a quantitative comparison of different gating schemes

Med Phys. 2007 Jul;34(7):3067-76. doi: 10.1118/1.2748104.


Respiratory gating is used for reducing the effects of breathing motion in a wide range of applications from radiotherapy treatment to diagnostical imaging. Different methods are feasible for respiratory gating. In this study seven gating methods were developed and tested on positron emission tomography (PET) listmode data. The results of seven patient studies were compared quantitatively with respect to motion and noise. (1) Equal and (2) variable time-based gating methods use only the time information of the breathing cycle to define respiratory gates. (3) Equal and (4) variable amplitude-based gating approaches utilize the amplitude of the respiratory signal. (5) Cycle-based amplitude gating is a combination of time and amplitude-based techniques. A baseline correction was applied to methods (3) and (4) resulting in two new approaches: Baseline corrected (6) equal and (7) variable amplitude-based gating. Listmode PET data from seven patients were acquired together with a respiratory signal. Images were reconstructed applying the seven gating methods. Two parameters were used to quantify the results: Motion was measured as the displacement of the heart due to respiration and noise was defined as the standard deviation of pixel intensities in a background region. The amplitude-based approaches (3) and (4) were superior to the time-based methods (1) and (2). The improvement in capturing the motion was more than 30% (up to 130%) in all subjects. The variable time (2) and amplitude (4) methods had a more uniform noise distribution among all respiratory gates compared to equal time (1) and amplitude (3) methods. Baseline correction did not improve the results. Out of seven different respiratory gating approaches, the variable amplitude method (4) captures the respiratory motion best while keeping a constant noise level among all respiratory phases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Heart
  • Humans
  • Motion
  • Phantoms, Imaging*
  • Positron-Emission Tomography*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Respiration
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed