A novel method to calibrate DOI function of a PET detector with a dual-ended-scintillator readout

Med Phys. 2008 Dec;35(12):5829-40. doi: 10.1118/1.3021118.


The detection of depth-of-interaction (DOI) is a critical detector capability to improve the PET spatial resolution uniformity across the field-of-view and will significantly enhance, in particular, small bore system performance for brain, breast, and small animal imaging. One promising technique of DOI detection is to use dual-ended-scintillator readout that uses two photon sensors to detect scintillation light from both ends of a scintillator array and estimate DOI based on the ratio of signals (similar to Anger logic). This approach needs a careful DOI function calibration to establish accurate relationship between DOI and signal ratios, and to recalibrate if the detection condition is shifted due to the drift of sensor gain, bias variations, or degraded optical coupling, etc. However, the current calibration method that uses coincident events to locate interaction positions inside a single scintillator crystal has severe drawbacks, such as complicated setup, long and repetitive measurements, and being prone to errors from various possible misalignments among the source and detector components. This method is also not practically suitable to calibrate multiple DOI functions of a crystal array. To solve these problems, a new method has been developed that requires only a uniform flood source to irradiate a crystal array without the need to locate the interaction positions, and calculates DOI functions based solely on the uniform probability distribution of interactions over DOI positions without knowledge or assumption of detector responses. Simulation and experiment have been studied to validate the new method, and the results show that the new method, with a simple setup and one single measurement, can provide consistent and accurate DOI functions for the entire array of multiple scintillator crystals. This will enable an accurate, simple, and practical DOI function calibration for the PET detectors based on the design of dual-ended-scintillator readout. In addition, the new method can be generally applied to calibrating other types of detectors that use the similar dual-ended readout to acquire the radiation interaction position.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Breast / pathology*
  • Calibration
  • Equipment Design
  • Humans
  • Image Enhancement / instrumentation
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted / instrumentation
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted / methods
  • Models, Statistical
  • Monte Carlo Method
  • Positron-Emission Tomography / methods*
  • Probability
  • Scintillation Counting
  • Time Factors
  • Transducers