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Nuklearmedizin. 1999 Apr;38(3):75-9.

[Reduction of radiation exposure in PET examinations by data acquisition in the 3D mode].

[Article in German]

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  • 1Abteilung für Medizinische Strahlenhygiene und nichtionisierende Strahlung, Institut für Strahlenhygiene, Neuherberg.



Modern volume PET systems offer the possibility to measure without the shadowing effect of interplane septa (2D mode) and thus to detect coincident events between detectors on distant rings (3D mode). It was the aim of the present paper to characterize the count rate behaviour of a latest-generation whole-body PET system in the 2D and 3D mode as well as to discuss the consequences for the radiation hygiene of PET examinations with 2-[F-18]-fluoro-2-deoxyglucose (18-F-FDG).


All experiments were performed with the PET system ECAT EXACT HR+. For 2D data acquisition, a collimator of thin tungsten septa was positioned in the field-of-view. The count rate behaviour of the scanner was evaluated in the 2D and 3D mode over a wide range of F-18 activity concentrations following the NEMA protocol. Moreover, PET images of the EEC whole-body phantom with different inserts were acquired in the 2D and 3D mode over a period of 15 min each. For the 3D measurement, the activity concentrations of the F-18 solution were only half of those used for the 2D measurement.


For the circular NEMA phantom (phi = 19.4 cm, length = 19.0 cm), we observed an increase of the system sensitivity in the 3D mode by a factor of about 5 with respect to the 2D mode (27.7 vs. 5.7 cps/Bq/ml). The evaluation of the activity distributions of the EEC phantom reconstructed from the 3D data set revealed a superior image quality compared to the corresponding 2D images despite the fact that the activity concentrations were only half as high.


By using the 3D data acquisition mode, it is possible to markedly reduce the amount of activity to be applied to the patient and nevertheless to improve image quality. In our experience, it is sufficient to administer an activity of 150-200 MBq for whole-body examinations with F-18-FDG, which results in an effective equivalent dose of 3 or 4 mSv, respectively.

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