ECAT ART - a continuously rotating PET camera: performance characteristics, initial clinical studies, and installation considerations in a nuclear medicine department

Eur J Nucl Med. 1997 Jan;24(1):6-15. doi: 10.1007/BF01728302.


Advances in fully three-dimensional (3D) image reconstruction techniques have permitted the development of a commercial, rotating, partial ring, fully 3D positron emission tomographic (PET) scanner, the ECAT ART. The system has less than one-half the number of bismuth germanate detectors compared with a full ring scanner with the equivalent field of view, resulting in reduced capital cost. The performance characteristics, implications for installation in a nuclear medicine department, and clinical utility of the scanner are presented in this report. The sensitivity (20 cm diameterx20 cm long cylindrical phantom, no scatter correction) is 11400 This compares with 5800 and 40500 in 2D and 3D respectively for the equivalent full ring scanner (ECAT EXACT). With an energy window of 350-650 keV the maximum noise equivalent count (NEC) rate was 27 kcps at a radioactivity concentration of approximately 15 in the cylinder. Spatial resolution is approximately 6 mm full width at half maximum on axis degrading to just under 8 mm at a distance of 20 cm off axis. Installation and use within the nuclear medicine department does not appreciably increase background levels of radiation on gamma cameras in adjacent rooms and the dose rate to an operator in the same room is 2 microSv. h-1 for a typical fluorine-18 fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) study with an initial injected activity of 370 MBq. The scanner has been used for clinical imaging with18F-FDG for neurological and oncological applications. Its novel use for imaging iron-52 transferrin for localising erythropoietic activity demonstrates its sensitivity and resolution advantages over a conventional dual-headed gamma camera. The ECAT ART provides a viable alternative to conventional full ring PET scanners without compromising the performance required for clinical PET imaging.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Equipment Design
  • Gamma Cameras*
  • Humans
  • Nuclear Medicine Department, Hospital
  • Rotation
  • Technology, Radiologic / instrumentation
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed / instrumentation*