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Phys Med. 2006;21 Suppl 1:28-34.

Impact of high energy resolution detectors on the performance of a PET system dedicated to breast cancer imaging.


We are developing a high resolution, high sensitivity PET camera dedicated to breast cancer imaging. We are studying two novel detector technologies for this imaging system: a scintillation detector comprising layers of small lutetium oxyorthosilicate (LSO) crystals coupled to new position sensitive avalanche photodiodes (PSAPDs), and a pure semiconductor detector comprising cadmium zinc telluride (CZT) crystal slabs with thin anode and cathode strips deposited in orthogonal directions on either side of each slab. Both detectors achieve 1 mm spatial resolution with 3-5 mm directly measured photon interaction depth resolution, which promotes uniform reconstructed spatial resolution throughout a compact, breast-size field of view. Both detector types also achieve outstanding energy resolution (<3% and <12%, respectively for LSO-PSAPD and CZT at 511 keV). This paper studies the effects that this excellent energy resolution has on the expected system performance. Results indicate the importance that high energy resolution and narrow energy window settings have in reducing background random as well as scatter coincidences without compromising statistical quality of the dedicated breast PET data. Simulations predict that using either detector type the excellent performance and novel arrangement of these detectors proposed for the system facilitate approximately 20% instrument sensitivity at the system center and a peak noise-equivalent count rate of >4 kcps for 200 microCi in a simulated breast phantom.

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