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J Nucl Med. 2009 Oct;50(10):1666-75. doi: 10.2967/jnumed.109.064345. Epub 2009 Sep 16.

Clinical imaging characteristics of the positron emission mammography camera: PEM Flex Solo II.

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  • 1Radiology Department, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195, USA.


We evaluated a commercial positron emission mammography (PEM) camera, the PEM Flex Solo II. This system comprises two 6 x 16.4 cm detectors that scan together covering up to a 24 x 16.4 cm field of view (FOV). There are no specific standards for testing this detector configuration. We performed several tests important to breast imaging, and we propose tests that should be included in standardized testing of PEM systems.


We measured spatial resolution, uniformity, counting- rate linearity, recovery coefficients, and quantification accuracy using the system's software. Image linearity and coefficient of variation at the edge of the FOV were also characterized. Anecdotal examples of clinical patient data are presented.


The spatial resolution was 2.4 mm in full width at half maximum for image planes parallel to the detector faces. The background variability was approximately 5%, and quantification accuracy and recovery coefficients varied within the FOV. Positioning linearity began at approximately 13 mm from the edge of the detector housing. The coefficient of variation was significantly higher close to the edge of the FOV because of limited sensitivity in these image planes.


A reconstructed spatial resolution of 2.4 mm represented a significant improvement over conventional whole-body PET scanners and should reduce the lower threshold on lesion size and tracer uptake for detection in the breast. Limited-angle tomography and a lack of data corrections result in spatially variable quantitative results. PEM acquisition geometry limits sampling statistics at the chest-wall edge of the camera, resulting in high variance in that portion of the image. Example patient images demonstrate that lesions can be detected at the chest-wall edge despite variance artifacts, and fine structure is visualized routinely throughout the FOV in the focal plane. The PEM Flex camera should enable the functional imaging of breast cancer earlier in the disease process than whole-body PET.

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