Data-driven respiratory phase-matched PET attenuation correction without CT

Phys Med Biol. 2021 May 20;66(11). doi: 10.1088/1361-6560/abfc8f.


We propose a deep learning-based data-driven respiratory phase-matched gated-PET attenuation correction (AC) method that does not need a gated-CT. The proposed method is a multi-step process that consists of data-driven respiratory gating, gated attenuation map estimation using maximum-likelihood reconstruction of attenuation and activity (MLAA) algorithm, and enhancement of the gated attenuation maps using convolutional neural network (CNN). The gated MLAA attenuation maps enhanced by the CNN allowed for the phase-matched AC of gated-PET images. We conducted a non-rigid registration of the gated-PET images to generate motion-free PET images. We trained the CNN by conducting a 3D patch-based learning with 80 oncologic whole-body18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) PET/CT scan data and applied it to seven regional PET/CT scans that cover the lower lung and upper liver. We investigated the impact of the proposed respiratory phase-matched AC of PET without utilizing CT on tumor size and standard uptake value (SUV) assessment, and PET image quality (%STD). The attenuation corrected gated and motion-free PET images generated using the proposed method yielded sharper organ boundaries and better noise characteristics than conventional gated and ungated PET images. A banana artifact observed in a phase-mismatched CT-based AC was not observed in the proposed approach. By employing the proposed method, the size of tumor was reduced by 12.3% and SUV90%was increased by 13.3% in tumors with larger movements than 5 mm. %STD of liver uptake was reduced by 11.1%. The deep learning-based data-driven respiratory phase-matched AC method improved the PET image quality and reduced the motion artifacts.

Keywords: attenuation correction; data-driven gating; motion correction; simultaneous reconstruction.

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Artifacts*
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Movement
  • Positron Emission Tomography Computed Tomography*
  • Positron-Emission Tomography


  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18