We also evaluated the effect of implementing different attenuation correction methods in 4-dimensional PET image reconstruction on SUVmax and MTV. Methods and materials An anthropomorphic thorax phantom with a spherical ball as a surrogate for a tumor was used. Different types of motion were imposed on the ball to mimic a patient's breathing motion. Three-dimensional PET imaging of the phantom without tumor motion was performed and used as the reference. The ball was then set in motion with different breathing motion traces and imaged with both 3- and 4-dimensional PET methods. The clinical 4-dimensional PET imaging protocol was modified so that 3 different types of attenuation correction images were used for reconstructions: the same free-breathing computed tomography (CT) for all PET phases, the same average intensity projection CT for all PET phases, and 4-dimensional CT for phase-matched attenuation correction. Tumor SUVmax and MTV values that were measured from the moving phantom were compared with the reference values. Results SUVmax that was measured in 3-dimensional PET imaging was different from the reference value by 20.4% on average for the motions that were investigated; this difference decreased to 2.6% with 4-dimensional PET imaging. The measurement of MTV in 4-dimensional PET also showed a similar magnitude of reduction of deviation compared with 3-dimensional PET. Four-dimensional PET with use of phase-matched 4-dimensional CT for attenuation correction showed less variation in SUVmax and MTV among phases compared with 4-dimensional PET with free-breathing CT or average intensity projection CT for attenuation correction. Conclusions Four-dimensional PET imaging reduces the impact of motion on measured SUVmax and MTV when compared with 3-dimensional PET imaging. Clinical 4-dimensional PET imaging protocols should consider phase-matched 4-dimensional CT imaging for attenuation correction to achieve more accurate measurements.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging