Evaluation of motion correction methods in human brain PET imaging--a simulation study based on human motion data

Med Phys. 2013 Oct;40(10):102503. doi: 10.1118/1.4819820.


Purpose: Motion correction in PET has become more important as system resolution has improved. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the accuracy of event-by-event and frame-based MC methods in human brain PET imaging.

Methods: Motion compensated image reconstructions were performed with static and dynamic simulated high resolution research tomograph data with frame-based image reconstructions, using a range of measured human head motion data. Image intensities in high-contrast regions of interest (ROI) and parameter estimates in tracer kinetic models were assessed to evaluate the accuracy of the motion correction methods.

Results: Given accurate motion data, event-by-event motion correction can reliably correct for head motions. The average ROI intensities and the kinetic parameter estimates VT and BPND were comparable to the true values. The frame-based motion correction methods with correctly aligned attenuation map using the average of externally acquired motion data or motion data derived from image registration give comparable quantitative accuracy. For large intraframe (>5 mm) motion, the frame-based methods produced ≈ 9% bias in ROI intensities, ≈ 5% in VT, and ≈ 10% in BPND estimates. In addition, in real studies that lack a ground truth, the normalized weighted residual sum of squared difference is a potential figure-of-merit to evaluate the accuracy of motion correction methods.

Conclusions: The authors conclude that frame-based motion correction methods are accurate when the intraframe motion is less than 5 mm and when the attenuation map is accurately aligned. Given accurate motion data, event-by-event motion correction can reliably correct for head motion in human brain PET studies.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Brain / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Kinetics
  • Movement*
  • Positron-Emission Tomography / methods*
  • Radioactive Tracers


  • Radioactive Tracers