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Phys Med Biol. 2015 Jan 7;60(1):15-29. doi: 10.1088/0031-9155/60/1/15. Epub 2014 Dec 5.

Evaluation of bias and variance in low-count OSEM list mode reconstruction.

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Department of Biomedical Engineering, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA.


Statistical algorithms have been widely used in PET image reconstruction. The maximum likelihood expectation maximization reconstruction has been shown to produce bias in applications where images are reconstructed from a relatively small number of counts. In this study, image bias and variability in low-count OSEM reconstruction are investigated on images reconstructed with MOLAR (motion-compensation OSEM list-mode algorithm for resolution-recovery reconstruction) platform. A human brain ([(11)C]AFM) and a NEMA phantom are used in the simulation and real experiments respectively, for the HRRT and Biograph mCT. Image reconstructions were repeated with different combinations of subsets and iterations. Regions of interest were defined on low-activity and high-activity regions to evaluate the bias and noise at matched effective iteration numbers (iterations × subsets). Minimal negative biases and no positive biases were found at moderate count levels and less than 5% negative bias was found using extremely low levels of counts (0.2 M NEC). At any given count level, other factors, such as subset numbers and frame-based scatter correction may introduce small biases (1-5%) in the reconstructed images. The observed bias was substantially lower than that reported in the literature, perhaps due to the use of point spread function and/or other implementation methods in MOLAR.

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