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EJNMMI Phys. 2016 Dec;3(1):8. doi: 10.1186/s40658-016-0144-5. Epub 2016 May 23.

Physics of pure and non-pure positron emitters for PET: a review and a discussion.

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Siemens Healthcare Molecular Imaging, Knoxville, TN, USA.
Siemens Healthcare Molecular Imaging, Knoxville, TN, USA.
Department of Physics, University of Stockholm, Stockholm, Sweden.
Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.
Scintillation Material Research Center, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN, USA.


With the increased interest in new PET tracers, gene-targeted therapy, immunoPET, and theranostics, other radioisotopes will be increasingly used in clinical PET scanners, in addition to (18)F. Some of the most interesting radioisotopes with prospective use in the new fields are not pure short-range β(+) emitters but can be associated with gamma emissions in coincidence with the annihilation radiation (prompt gamma), gamma-gamma cascades, intense Bremsstrahlung radiation, high-energy positrons that may escape out of the patient skin, and high-energy gamma rays that result in some e (+)/e (-) pair production. The high level of sophistication in data correction and excellent quantitative accuracy that has been reached for (18)F in recent years can be questioned by these effects. In this work, we review the physics and the scientific literature and evaluate the effect of these additional phenomena on the PET data for each of a series of radioisotopes: (11)C, (13)N, (15)O, (18)F, (64)Cu, (68)Ga, (76)Br, (82)Rb, (86)Y, (89)Zr, (90)Y, and (124)I. In particular, we discuss the present complications arising from the prompt gammas, and we review the scientific literature on prompt gamma correction. For some of the radioisotopes considered in this work, prompt gamma correction is definitely needed to assure acceptable image quality, and several approaches have been proposed in recent years. Bremsstrahlung photons and (176)Lu background were also evaluated.


Non-conventional PET isotopes; PET; Positron emitter; Prompt gamma; Radioisotopes

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