Real-time 3D motion tracking for small animal brain PET

Phys Med Biol. 2008 May 21;53(10):2651-66. doi: 10.1088/0031-9155/53/10/014. Epub 2008 Apr 29.


High-resolution positron emission tomography (PET) imaging of conscious, unrestrained laboratory animals presents many challenges. Some form of motion correction will normally be necessary to avoid motion artefacts in the reconstruction. The aim of the current work was to develop and evaluate a motion tracking system potentially suitable for use in small animal PET. This system is based on the commercially available stereo-optical MicronTracker S60 which we have integrated with a Siemens Focus-220 microPET scanner. We present measured performance limits of the tracker and the technical details of our implementation, including calibration and synchronization of the system. A phantom study demonstrating motion tracking and correction was also performed. The system can be calibrated with sub-millimetre accuracy, and small lightweight markers can be constructed to provide accurate 3D motion data. A marked reduction in motion artefacts was demonstrated in the phantom study. The techniques and results described here represent a step towards a practical method for rigid-body motion correction in small animal PET. There is scope to achieve further improvements in the accuracy of synchronization and pose measurements in future work.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging*
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Calibration
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional / methods*
  • Movement*
  • Phantoms, Imaging
  • Positron-Emission Tomography / methods*
  • Reproducibility of Results