Bayesian image reconstruction for emission tomography based on median root prior

Eur J Nucl Med. 1997 Mar;24(3):258-65. doi: 10.1007/BF01728761.


The aim of the present study was to investigate a new type of Bayesian one-step late reconstruction method which utilizes a median root prior (MRP). The method favours images which have locally monotonous radioactivity concentrations. The new reconstruction algorithm was applied to ideal simulated data, phantom data and some patient examinations with PET. The same projection data were reconstructed with filtered back-projection (FBP) and maximum likelihood-expectation maximization (ML-EM) methods for comparison. The MRP method provided good-quality images with a similar resolution to the FBP method with a ramp filter, and at the same time the noise properties were as good as with Hann-filtered FBP images. The typical artefacts seen in FBP reconstructed images outside of the object were completely removed, as was the grainy noise inside the object. Quantitatively, the resulting average regional radioactivity concentrations in a large region of interest in images produced by the MRP method corresponded to the FBP and ML-EM results but at the pixel by pixel level the MRP method proved to be the most accurate of the tested methods. In contrast to other iterative reconstruction methods, e.g. ML-EM, the MRP method was not sensitive to the number of iterations nor to the adjustment of reconstruction parameters. Only the Bayesian parameter beta had to be set. The proposed MRP method is much more simple to calculate than the methods described previously, both with regard to the parameter settings and in terms of general use. The new MRP reconstruction method was shown to produce high-quality quantitative emission images with only one parameter setting in addition to the number of iterations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Artifacts
  • Bayes Theorem
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Computer Simulation
  • Heart / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Phantoms, Imaging
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed / methods*