Purpose: The aim of this study was to evaluate and quantify the effect of improved attenuation correction (AC) including bone segmentation and truncation correction on 18F-Fluordesoxyglucose cardiac positron emission tomography/magnetic resonance (PET/MR) imaging.
Methods: PET data of 32 cardiac PET/MR datasets were reconstructed with three different AC-maps (1. Dixon-VIBE only, 2. HUGE truncation correction and bone segmentation, 3. MLAA). The Dixon-VIBE AC-maps served as reference of reconstructed PET data. 17-segment short-axis polar plots of the left ventricle were analyzed regarding the impact of each of the three AC methods on PET quantification in cardiac PET/MR imaging. Non-AC PET images were segmented to specify the amount of truncation in the Dixon-VIBE AC-map serving as a reference. All AC-maps were evaluated for artifacts.
Results: Using HUGE + bone AC results in a homogeneous gain of ca. 6% and for MLAA 8% of PET signal distribution across the myocardium of the left ventricle over all patients compared to Dixon-VIBE AC only. Maximal relative differences up to 18% were observed in segment 17 (apex). The body volume truncation of -12.7 ± 7.1% compared to the segmented non-AC PET images using the Dixon-VIBE AC method was reduced to -1.9 ± 3.9% using HUGE and 7.8 ± 8.3% using MLAA. In each patient, a systematic overestimation in AC-map volume was observed when applying MLAA. Quantitative impact of artifacts showed regional differences up to 6% within single segments of the myocardium.
Conclusions: Improved AC including bone segmentation and truncation correction in cardiac PET/MR imaging is important to ensure best possible diagnostic quality and PET quantification. The results exhibited an overestimation of AC-map volume using MLAA, while HUGE resulted in a more realistic body contouring. Incorporation of bone segmentation into the Dixon-VIBE AC-map resulted in homogeneous gain in PET signal distribution across the myocardium. The majority of observed AC-map artifacts did not significantly affect the quantitative assessment of the myocardium.