A custom-built PET phantom design for quantitative imaging of printed distributions.

P J Markiewicz, G I Angelis, F Kotasidis, M Green, W R Lionheart, A J Reader, J C Matthews

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    This note presents a practical approach to a custom-made design of PET phantoms enabling the use of digital radioactive distributions with high quantitative accuracy and spatial resolution. The phantom design allows planar sources of any radioactivity distribution to be imaged in transaxial and axial (sagittal or coronal) planes. Although the design presented here is specially adapted to the high-resolution research tomograph (HRRT), the presented methods can be adapted to almost any PET scanner. Although the presented phantom design has many advantages, a number of practical issues had to be overcome such as positioning of the printed source, calibration, uniformity and reproducibility of printing. A well counter (WC) was used in the calibration procedure to find the nonlinear relationship between digital voxel intensities and the actual measured radioactive concentrations. Repeated printing together with WC measurements and computed radiography (CR) using phosphor imaging plates (IP) were used to evaluate the reproducibility and uniformity of such printing. Results show satisfactory printing uniformity and reproducibility; however, calibration is dependent on the printing mode and the physical state of the cartridge. As a demonstration of the utility of using printed phantoms, the image resolution and quantitative accuracy of reconstructed HRRT images are assessed. There is very good quantitative agreement in the calibration procedure between HRRT, CR and WC measurements. However, the high resolution of CR and its quantitative accuracy supported by WC measurements made it possible to show the degraded resolution of HRRT brain images caused by the partial-volume effect and the limits of iterative image reconstruction.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)N247-N261
    JournalPhysics in Medicine and Biology
    Issue number21
    Publication statusPublished - 7 Nov 2011


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