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Attenuation Correction in 4D-PET Using a Single-Phase Attenuation Map

F Kalantari

F Kalantari*, J Wang , UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX


WE-H-207A-2 (Wednesday, August 3, 2016) 4:30 PM - 6:00 PM Room: 207A

Purpose:4D-PET imaging has been proposed as a potential solution to the respiratory motion effect in thoracic region. CT-based attenuation correction (AC) is an essential step toward quantitative imaging for PET. However, due to the temporal difference of 4D-PET and a single breath-hold CT, motion artifacts are observed in the attenuation-corrected PET images that can lead to error in tumor shape and uptake. We introduce a practical method for aligning single-phase CT to all other 4D-PET phases using a penalized non-rigid demons registration.

Methods:Individual 4D-PET frames were reconstructed without AC. Non-rigid Demons registration was used to derive deformation vector fields (DVFs) between the PET matched with CT phase and other 4D-PET images. While attenuated PET images provide enough useful data for organ borders such as lung and liver, tumors are not distinguishable from background due to loss of contrast. To preserve tumor shape in different phases, from CT image an ROI covering tumor was excluded from non-rigid transformation. Mean DVF of the central region of the tumor was assigned to all voxels in the ROI. This process mimics a rigid transformation of tumor along with a non-rigid transformation of other organs. 4D XCAT phantom with spherical tumors in lung with diameters ranging from 10 to 40 mm was used to evaluate the algorithm.

Results:Motion related induced artifacts in attenuation-corrected 4D-PET images were significantly reduced. For tumors smaller than 20 mm, non-rigid transformation was capable to provide quantitative results. However, for larger tumors, where tumor self-attenuation is considerable, our combined method yields superior results.

Conclusion:We introduced a practical method for deforming a single CT to match all 4D-PET images for accurate AC. Although 4D-PET data include insignificant anatomical information, we showed that they are still useful to estimate DVFs for aligning attenuation map and accurate AC.

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