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Med Phys. 2008 May;35(5):1959-69.

Single and dual energy attenuation correction in PET/CT in the presence of iodine based contrast agents.

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Laboratory for Preclinical Imaging and Imaging Technology, Werner Siemens-Foundation, University of Tübingen, Röntgenweg 13, D-72076 Tübingen, Germany.


In present positron emission tomography (PET)/computed tomography (CT) scanners, PET attenuation correction is performed by relying on the information given by a single CT scan. The scaling of the linear attenuation coefficients from CT x-ray energy to PET 511 keV gamma energy is prone to errors especially in the presence of CT contrast agents. Attenuation correction based upon two CT scans at different energies but performed at the same time and patient position should reduce such errors and therefore improve the accuracy of the reconstructed PET images at the cost of introduced additional noise. Such CT scans could be provided by future PET/CT scanners that have either dual source CT or energy sensitive CT. Three different dual energy scaling methods for attenuation correction are introduced and assessed by measurements with a modified NEMA 1994 phantom with different CT contrast agent concentrations. The scaling is achieved by differentiating between (1) Compton and photoelectric effect, (2) atomic number and density, or (3) water-bone and water-iodine scaling schemes. The scaling method (3) is called hybrid dual energy computed tomography attenuation correction (hybrid DECTAC). All three dual energy scaling methods lead to a reduction of contrast agent artifacts with respect to single energy scaling. The hybrid DECTAC method resulted in PET images with the weakest artifacts. Both, the hybrid DECTAC and Compton/photoelectric effect scaling resulted also in images with the lowest PET background variability. Atomic number/density scaling and Compton/photoelectric effect scaling had problems to correctly scale water, hybrid DECTAC scaling and single energy scaling to correctly scale Teflon. Atomic number/density scaling and hybrid DECTAC could be generalized to reduce these problems.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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