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Phys Med Biol. 2008 Dec 7;53(23):6925-45. doi: 10.1088/0031-9155/53/23/018. Epub 2008 Nov 12.

Multi-ray-based system matrix generation for 3D PET reconstruction.

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Department of Physics, University of Pisa, Largo Bruno Pontecorvo 3, I-56127 Pisa, Italy.


Iterative image reconstruction algorithms for positron emission tomography (PET) require a sophisticated system matrix (model) of the scanner. Our aim is to set up such a model offline for the YAP-(S)PET II small animal imaging tomograph in order to use it subsequently with standard ML-EM (maximum-likelihood expectation maximization) and OSEM (ordered subset expectation maximization) for fully three-dimensional image reconstruction. In general, the system model can be obtained analytically, via measurements or via Monte Carlo simulations. In this paper, we present the multi-ray method, which can be considered as a hybrid method to set up the system model offline. It incorporates accurate analytical (geometric) considerations as well as crystal depth and crystal scatter effects. At the same time, it has the potential to model seamlessly other physical aspects such as the positron range. The proposed method is based on multiple rays which are traced from/to the detector crystals through the image volume. Such a ray-tracing approach itself is not new; however, we derive a novel mathematical formulation of the approach and investigate the positioning of the integration (ray-end) points. First, we study single system matrix entries and show that the positioning and weighting of the ray-end points according to Gaussian integration give better results compared to equally spaced integration points (trapezoidal integration), especially if only a small number of integration points (rays) are used. Additionally, we show that, for a given variance of the single matrix entries, the number of rays (events) required to calculate the whole matrix is a factor of 20 larger when using a pure Monte-Carlo-based method. Finally, we analyse the quality of the model by reconstructing phantom data from the YAP-(S)PET II scanner.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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