Spatial Distortion Correction and Crystal Identification for MRI-Compatible Position-Sensitive Avalanche Photodiode-Based PET Scanners

A. J. Chaudhari, Y. Wu and S. R. Cherry are with the Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA 95616, USA (Email: ).
IEEE Transactions on Nuclear Science (Impact Factor: 1.28). 06/2009; 56(3):549-556. DOI: 10.1109/TNS.2009.2018841
Source: IEEE Xplore


Position-sensitive avalanche photodiodes (PSAPDs) are gaining widespread acceptance in modern PET scanner designs, and owing to their relative insensitivity to magnetic fields, especially in those that are MRI-compatible. Flood histograms in PET scanners are used to determine the crystal of annihilation photon interaction and hence, for detector characterization and routine quality control. For PET detectors that use PSAPDs, flood histograms show a characteristic pincushion distortion when Anger logic is used for event positioning. A small rotation in the flood histogram is also observed when the detectors are placed in a magnetic field. We first present a general purpose automatic method for spatial distortion correction for flood histograms of PSAPD-based PET detectors when placed both inside and outside a MRI scanner. Analytical formulae derived for this scheme are based on a hybrid approach that combines desirable properties from two existing event positioning schemes. The rotation of the flood histogram due to the magnetic field is determined iteratively and is accounted for in the scheme. We then provide implementation details of a method for crystal identification we have previously proposed and evaluate it for cases when the PET detectors are both outside and in a magnetic field. In this scheme, Fourier analysis is used to generate a lower-order spatial approximation of the distortion-corrected PSAPD flood histogram, which we call the 'template'. The template is then registered to the flood histogram using a diffeomorphic iterative intensity-based warping scheme. The calculated deformation field is then applied to the segmentation of the template to obtain a segmentation of the flood histogram. A manual correction tool is also developed for exceptional cases. We present a quantitative assessment of the proposed distortion correction scheme and crystal identification method against conventional methods. Our results indicate that our proposed methods lead to a large reduction in manual labor and indeed can routinely be used for calibration and characterization studies in MRI-compatible PET scanners based on PSAPDs.

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    • "Further applications of PSAPDs have shown promising results (LSO, 1 × 1 × 20 mm 3 , dE/E = 19%, paired coincidence time resolution (pCTR) of 3.2 ns full width at half maximum (FWHM), 20 • C) with respect to crystal identification (Burr et al 2003, Shah et al 2004), also in combination with depth of interaction identification using double-sided readout (Dokhale et al 2004). Unfortunately, distortion in a high static magnetic field, e.g. 7 T, has been reported, which has led to algorithms that compensate the reported distortion (Chaudhari et al 2009). On the other hand, SiPMs are proven to have a faster response and thus offering the measurement of time-of-flight pCTR down to the 100 ps (FWHM) range (Schaart et al 2010). "
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    ABSTRACT: Detectors for simultaneous positron emission tomography and magnetic resonance imaging in particular with sub-mm spatial resolution are commonly composed of scintillator crystal arrays, readout via arrays of solid state sensors, such as avalanche photo diodes (APDs) or silicon photomultipliers (SiPMs). Usually a light guide between the crystals and the sensor is used to enable the identification of crystals which are smaller than the sensor elements. However, this complicates crystal identification at the gaps and edges of the sensor arrays. A solution is to use as many sensors as crystals with a direct coupling, which unfortunately increases the complexity and power consumption of the readout electronics. Since 1997, position-sensitive APDs have been successfully used to identify sub-mm crystals. Unfortunately, these devices show a limitation in their time resolution and a degradation of spatial resolution when placed in higher magnetic fields. To overcome these limitations, this paper presents a new sensor concept that extends conventional SiPMs by adding position information via the spatial encoding of the channel sensitivity. The concept allows a direct coupling of high-resolution crystal arrays to the sensor with a reduced amount of readout channels. The theory of sensitivity encoding is detailed and linked to compressed sensing to compute unique sparse solutions. Two devices have been designed using one- and two-dimensional linear sensitivity encoding with eight and four readout channels, respectively. Flood histograms of both devices show the capability to precisely identify all 4 × 4 LYSO crystals with dimensions of 0.93 × 0.93 × 10 mm(3). For these crystals, the energy and time resolution (MV ± SD) of the devices with one (two)-dimensional encoding have been measured to be 12.3 · (1 ± 0.047)% (13.7 · (1 ± 0.047)%) around 511 keV with a paired coincidence time resolution (full width at half maximum) of 462 · (1 ± 0.054) ps (452 · (1 ± 0.078) ps).
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2013 · Physics in Medicine and Biology

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    ABSTRACT: Performance of a new high resolution PET detection concept is presented. In this new concept, annihilation radiation enters the scintillator detectors edge-on. Each detector module comprises two 8 × 8 LYSO scintillator arrays of 0.91 × 0.91 × 1 mm(3) crystals coupled to two position-sensitive avalanche photodiodes (PSAPDs) mounted on a flex circuit. Appropriate crystal segmentation allows the recording of all three spatial coordinates of the interaction(s) simultaneously with submillimeter resolution. We report an average energy resolution of 14.6 ± 1.7% for 511 keV photons at FWHM. Coincident time resolution was determined to be 2.98 ± 0.13 ns FWHM on average. The coincidence point spread function (PSF) has an average FWHM of 0.837 ± 0.049 mm (using a 500 μm spherical source) and is uniform across the arrays. Both PSF and coincident time resolution degrade when Compton interactions are included in the data. Different blurring factors were evaluated theoretically, resulting in a calculated PSF of 0.793 mm, in good agreement with the measured value.
    Preview · Article · Oct 2010 · Physics in Medicine and Biology
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