Purpose: In dual modality positron emission tomography (PET)/magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), attenuation correction (AC) methods are continually improving. Although a new AC can sometimes be generated from existing MR data, its application requires a new reconstruction. We evaluate an approximate 2D projection method that allows offline image-based reprocessing.
Procedure: 2-Deoxy-2-[18F]fluoro-D-glucose ([18F]FDG) brain scans were acquired (Siemens HR+) for six subjects. Attenuation data were obtained using the scanner's transmission source (SAC). Additional scanning was performed on a Siemens mMR including production of a Dixon-based MR AC (MRAC). The MRAC was imported to the HR+ and the PET data were reconstructed twice: once using native SAC (ground truth); once using the imported MRAC (imperfect AC). The re-projection method was implemented as follows. The MRAC PET was forward projected to approximately reproduce attenuation-corrected sinograms. The SAC and MRAC images were forward projected and converted to attenuation-correction factors (ACFs). The MRAC ACFs were removed from the MRAC PET sinograms by division; the SAC ACFs were applied by multiplication. The regenerated sinograms were reconstructed by filtered back projection to produce images (SUBAC PET) in which SAC has been substituted for MRAC. Ideally SUBAC PET should match SAC PET. Via coregistered T1 images, FreeSurfer (FS; MGH, Boston) was used to define a set of cortical gray matter regions of interest. Regional activity concentrations were extracted for SAC PET, MRAC PET, and SUBAC PET.
Results: SUBAC PET showed substantially smaller root mean square error than MRAC PET with averaged values of 1.5 % versus 8.1 %.
Conclusions: Re-projection is a viable image-based method for the application of an alternate attenuation correction in neuroimaging.
Keywords: Brain; Image enhancement/restoration; Inverse methods; Nuclear imaging; Validation.