MR-assisted PET motion correction in simultaneous PET/MRI studies of dementia subjects

J Magn Reson Imaging. 2018 Nov;48(5):1288-1296. doi: 10.1002/jmri.26000. Epub 2018 Mar 8.


Background: Subject motion in positron emission tomography (PET) studies leads to image blurring and artifacts; simultaneously acquired magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data provides a means for motion correction (MC) in integrated PET/MRI scanners.

Purpose: To assess the effect of realistic head motion and MR-based MC on static [18 F]-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) PET images in dementia patients.

Study type: Observational study.

Population: Thirty dementia subjects were recruited.

Field strength/sequence: 3T hybrid PET/MR scanner where EPI-based and T1 -weighted sequences were acquired simultaneously with the PET data.

Assessment: Head motion parameters estimated from high temporal resolution MR volumes were used for PET MC. The MR-based MC method was compared to PET frame-based MC methods in which motion parameters were estimated by coregistering 5-minute frames before and after accounting for the attenuation-emission mismatch. The relative changes in standardized uptake value ratios (SUVRs) between the PET volumes processed with the various MC methods, without MC, and the PET volumes with simulated motion were compared in relevant brain regions.

Statistical tests: The absolute value of the regional SUVR relative change was assessed with pairwise paired t-tests testing at the P = 0.05 level, comparing the values obtained through different MR-based MC processing methods as well as across different motion groups. The intraregion voxelwise variability of regional SUVRs obtained through different MR-based MC processing methods was also assessed with pairwise paired t-tests testing at the P = 0.05 level.

Results: MC had a greater impact on PET data quantification in subjects with larger amplitude motion (higher than 18% in the medial orbitofrontal cortex) and greater changes were generally observed for the MR-based MC method compared to the frame-based methods. Furthermore, a mean relative change of ∼4% was observed after MC even at the group level, suggesting the importance of routinely applying this correction. The intraregion voxelwise variability of regional SUVRs was also decreased using MR-based MC. All comparisons were significant at the P = 0.05 level.

Data conclusion: Incorporating temporally correlated MR data to account for intraframe motion has a positive impact on the FDG PET image quality and data quantification in dementia patients.

Level of evidence: 3 Technical Efficacy: Stage 1 J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2018;47:1288-1296.

Keywords: PET/MRI; dementia; motion correction; simultaneous imaging.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Algorithms
  • Artifacts
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging*
  • Dementia / diagnostic imaging*
  • Female
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18 / chemistry
  • Head Movements
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Multimodal Imaging*
  • Normal Distribution
  • Positron-Emission Tomography*


  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18