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Attenuation of PET/CT Gantries with 511 KeV Photons

N Busse

N Busse1*, (1) Colorado Assn in Medical Phys (CAMP), Denver, CO


SU-D-201-1 (Sunday, July 12, 2015) 2:05 PM - 3:00 PM Room: 201

Purpose: PET shielding requires the use of large amounts of lead because of the penetrating nature of 511 keV photons. While the uptake rooms generally require the thickest lead, the scan room often requires substantial shielding. Attenuation by the PET/CT gantry is normally assumed to be zero, but may be significant in directions perpendicular to the scanner axis.

Methods: A 5 mL tube was filled with between 14.7 and 20.5 mCi of F-18 and inserted into a phantom (70 cm NEMA PET Scatter Phantom). Exposure rates were recorded at several distances and 15° intervals with a pressurized ionization chamber (Ludlum 9DP) both with the phantom outside the gantry and centered in the CT and PET acquisition positions. These measurements were repeated with three scanners: Siemens Biograph TruePoint 6, GE Optima 560, and Philips Gemini 64. Measurements were decay corrected and normalized to exposure rates outside the gantry to calculate percent transmission.

Results: Between 45° to 135° (measured from the patient bed at 0°), average transmission was about 20% for GE, 35% for Philips, and 30% for Siemens. The CT gantry was roughly twice as attenuating as the PET gantry at 90° for all three manufacturers, with about 10% transmission through the CT gantry and 20% through the PET gantry.

Conclusion: The Philips system is a split-gantry and therefore has a narrower angle of substantial attenuation. For the GE and Siemens systems, which are single-gantry design, transmission was relatively constant once the angle was sufficient to block line-of-sight from the phantom. While the patient may spend a greater fraction of time at the PET position of the scanner, transmission characteristics of the two components are similar enough to be treated collectively. For shielding angles between 45° and 135°, a reasonably conservative assumption would be to assume gantry transmission of 50%.

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