Indian Journal of Nuclear Medicine
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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 37  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 113-120

Evaluation of reconstruction algorithms to validate the nema phantom results in clinical scenario – A comparative study using time-of-flight versus non-time-of-flight positron emission tomography imaging

Department of Nuclear Medicine, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Baljinder Singh
Department of Nuclear Medicine, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh - 160 012
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijnm.ijnm_137_21

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Objectives: The objective is to standardize the reconstruction parameters for the time-of-flight (TOF) versus non-TOF positron-emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) imaging data and validation of the same in a clinical setting. Methods: The four spheres (10.0/13.0/17.0/22.0 mm) of the PET phantom (NEMA IQ Nu 2-2001) were filled with four times higher activity of [18F]-NaF than the background (5.3kBq/mL). Imaging (image matrix – 128 × 128 × 47, 2 min, 3D model) was done using two different (TOF/non-TOF) PET scanners. Phantom data were reconstructed in TOF and non-TOF modes for lutetium–yttrium oxyorthosilicate and non-TOF mode for bismuth germanate-based PET scanners. The reconstructed data (by varying iteration and subsets) that provided the best image contrast and signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) were evaluated. The whole-body [18F]-fludeoxyglucose (FDG) PET/CT scans (7–8 frames; 2.0 min/frame) in 16 lymphoma patients were acquired at 60 min after injecting the radioactivity (370.0–444.0 MBq of [18F]-FDG. The clinical PET/CT data were reconstructed using phantom-derived reconstruction parameters and evaluated for image contrast and SNR of the detected lesions. Results: TOF reconstruction at second iteration provided significantly (P ≤ 0.02) higher SNR (20.7) and contrast (contrast recovery coefficient/background variability = 3.21) for the smallest hot lesions (10.0 mm) in the phantom than the non-TOF system. Similarly, in patient data analysis for the selected FDG avid lesions, the SNR values were significantly (P = 0.02) higher (13.3 ± 6.49) in TOF than (11 ± 6.48) in non-TOF system. Further, the small (≤10.0 mm) lesions were seen more distinctly in TOF system. Conclusion: It is thus observed that TOF reconstruction converged faster than the non-TOF, and the applicability of the same may impact the image quality and interpretation in the clinical PET data. The validation of the phantom-based experimental reconstruction parameters to clinical PET imaging data is highly warranted.

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