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Phys Med Biol. 2017 Sep 1;62(18):7357-7378. doi: 10.1088/1361-6560/aa8384.

A novel optically transparent RF shielding for fully integrated PET/MRI systems.

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Department of Preclinical Imaging and Radiopharmacy, Werner Siemens Imaging Center, Eberhard Karls University Tuebingen, Roentgenweg 13, 72076 Tuebingen, Germany.


Preclinical imaging benefits from simultaneous acquisition of high-resolution anatomical and molecular data. Additionally, PET/MRI systems can provide functional PET and functional MRI data. To optimize PET sensitivity, we propose a system design that fully integrates the MRI coil into the PET system. This allows positioning the scintillators near the object but requires an optimized design of the MRI coil and PET detector. It further requires a new approach in realizing the radiofrequency (RF) shielding. Thus, we propose the use of an optically transparent RF shielding material between the PET scintillator and the light sensor, suppressing the interference between both systems. We evaluated two conductive foils (ITO, 9900) and a wire mesh. The PET performance was tested on a dual-layer scintillator consisting of 12  ×  12 LSO matrices, shifted by half a pitch. The pixel size was 0.9  ×  0.9 mm2; the lengths were 10.0 mm and 5.0 mm, respectively. For a light sensor, we used a 4  ×  4 SiPM array. The RF attenuation was measured from 320 kHz to 420 MHz using two pick-up coils. MRI-compatibility and shielding effect of the materials were evaluated with an MRI system. The average FWHM energy resolution at 511 keV of all 144 crystals of the layer next to the SiPM was deteriorated from 15.73  ±  0.24% to 16.32  ±  0.13%, 16.60  ±  0.25%, and 19.16  ±  0.21% by the ITO foil, 9900 foil, mesh material, respectively. The average peak-to-valley ratio of the PET detector changed from 5.77  ±  0.29 to 4.50  ±  0.39, 4.78  ±  0.48, 3.62  ±  0.16, respectively. The ITO, 9900, mesh attenuated the scintillation light by 11.3  ±  1.6%, 11.0  ±  1.8%, 54.3  ±  0.4%, respectively. To attenuate the RF from 20 MHz to 200 MHz, mesh performed better than copper. The results show that an RF shielding material that is sufficiently transparent for scintillation light and is MRI compatible can be obtained. This result enables the development of a fully integrated PET detector and MRI coil assembly.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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