Performance characteristics of a whole-body PET scanner.
METHODS: This study characterizes the performance of a newly developed whole-body PET scanner (Advance, General Electric Medical Systems, Milwaukee, WI). The scanner consists of 12,096 bismuth germinate crystals (4.0 mm transaxial by 8.1 mm axial by 30 mm radial) in 18 rings, giving 35 two-dimensional image planes through an axial field of view of 15.2 cm. The rings are separated by retractable tungsten septa. Intrinsic spatial resolution, scatter fraction, sensitivity, high count rate performance and image quality are evaluated. RESULTS: Transaxial resolution (in FWHM) is 3.8 mm at the center and increases to 5.0 mm tangential and 7.3 mm radial at R = 20 cm. Average axial resolution decreases from 4.0 mm FWHM at the center to 6.6 mm at R = 20 cm. Scatter fraction is 9.4% and 10.2% for direct and cross slices, respectively. With septa out, the average scatter fraction is 34%. Total system sensitivity for true events (in kcps/(microCi/cc)) is 223 with septa in and 1200 with septa out. Dead-time losses of 50% correspond to a radioactivity concentration of 4.9 (0.81) microCi/cc and a true event count rate of 489 (480) kcps with septa in (out). Noise-equivalent count rate (NECR) for the system as a whole shows a maximum of 261 (159) kcps at a radioactivity concentration of 4.1 (0.65) microCi/cc with septa in (out). NECR is insensitive to changes in lower gamma-energy discrimination between 250-350 keV. CONCLUSIONS: The results show the performance of the newly designed PET scanner to be well suited for clinical and research applications.
DeGrado, TR; Turkington, TG; Williams, JJ; Stearns, CW; Hoffman, JM; Coleman, RE
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