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Phys Med Biol. 2012 Oct 21;57(20):6571-85. doi: 10.1088/0031-9155/57/20/6571. Epub 2012 Sep 25.

Pulse shape discrimination and classification methods for continuous depth of interaction encoding PET detectors.

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Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of California Davis, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616, USA.


In previous work we demonstrated the potential of positron emission tomography (PET) detectors with depth-of-interaction (DOI) encoding capability based on phosphor-coated crystals. A DOI resolution of 8 mm full-width at half-maximum was obtained for 20 mm long scintillator crystals using a delayed charge integration linear regression method (DCI-LR). Phosphor-coated crystals modify the pulse shape to allow continuous DOI information determination, but the relationship between pulse shape and DOI is complex. We are therefore interested in developing a sensitive and robust method to estimate the DOI. Here, linear discriminant analysis (LDA) was implemented to classify the events based on information extracted from the pulse shape. Pulses were acquired with 2×2×20 mm(3) phosphor-coated crystals at five irradiation depths and characterized by their DCI values or Laguerre coefficients. These coefficients were obtained by expanding the pulses on a Laguerre basis set and constituted a unique signature for each pulse. The DOI of individual events was predicted using LDA based on Laguerre coefficients (Laguerre-LDA) or DCI values (DCI-LDA) as discriminant features. Predicted DOIs were compared to true irradiation depths. Laguerre-LDA showed higher sensitivity and accuracy than DCI-LDA and DCI-LR and was also more robust to predict the DOI of pulses with higher statistical noise due to low light levels (interaction depths further from the photodetector face). This indicates that Laguerre-LDA may be more suitable to DOI estimation in smaller crystals where lower collected light levels are expected. This novel approach is promising for calculating DOI using pulse shape discrimination in single-ended readout depth-encoding PET detectors.

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