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Med Phys. 2018 Feb;45(2):639-654. doi: 10.1002/mp.12710. Epub 2017 Dec 30.

Cardiac-gated parametric images from 82 Rb PET from dynamic frames and direct 4D reconstruction.

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Department of Biomedical Engineering, Yale University, P. O. Box 208048, New Haven, CT, 06520-8048, USA.
Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, Yale University School of Medicine, P. O. Box 208048, New Haven, CT, 06520-8048, USA.



Cardiac perfusion PET data can be reconstructed as a dynamic sequence and kinetic modeling performed to quantify myocardial blood flow, or reconstructed as static gated images to quantify function. Parametric images from dynamic PET are conventionally not gated, to allow use of all events with lower noise. An alternative method for dynamic PET is to incorporate the kinetic model into the reconstruction algorithm itself, bypassing the generation of a time series of emission images and directly producing parametric images. So-called "direct reconstruction" can produce parametric images with lower noise than the conventional method because the noise distribution is more easily modeled in projection space than in image space. In this work, we develop direct reconstruction of cardiac-gated parametric images for 82 Rb PET with an extension of the Parametric Motion compensation OSEM List mode Algorithm for Resolution-recovery reconstruction for the one tissue model (PMOLAR-1T).


PMOLAR-1T was extended to accommodate model terms to account for spillover from the left and right ventricles into the myocardium. The algorithm was evaluated on a 4D simulated 82 Rb dataset, including a perfusion defect, as well as a human 82 Rb list mode acquisition. The simulated list mode was subsampled into replicates, each with counts comparable to one gate of a gated acquisition. Parametric images were produced by the indirect (separate reconstructions and modeling) and direct methods for each of eight low-count and eight normal-count replicates of the simulated data, and each of eight cardiac gates for the human data. For the direct method, two initialization schemes were tested: uniform initialization, and initialization with the filtered iteration 1 result of the indirect method. For the human dataset, event-by-event respiratory motion compensation was included. The indirect and direct methods were compared for the simulated dataset in terms of bias and coefficient of variation as a function of iteration.


Convergence of direct reconstruction was slow with uniform initialization; lower bias was achieved in fewer iterations by initializing with the filtered indirect iteration 1 images. For most parameters and regions evaluated, the direct method achieved the same or lower absolute bias at matched iteration as the indirect method, with 23%-65% lower noise. Additionally, the direct method gave better contrast between the perfusion defect and surrounding normal tissue than the indirect method. Gated parametric images from the human dataset had comparable relative performance of indirect and direct, in terms of mean parameter values per iteration. Changes in myocardial wall thickness and blood pool size across gates were readily visible in the gated parametric images, with higher contrast between myocardium and left ventricle blood pool in parametric images than gated SUV images.


Direct reconstruction can produce parametric images with less noise than the indirect method, opening the potential utility of gated parametric imaging for perfusion PET.


cardiac PET; direct PET reconstruction; kinetic modeling; parametric imaging

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