Objective: The aim of this study was to quantitatively evaluate the edge artifacts in PET images reconstructed using the point-spread function (PSF) algorithm at different sphere-to-background ratios of radioactivity (SBRs). Methods: We used a NEMA IEC body phantom consisting of six spheres with 37, 28, 22, 17, 13 and 10 mm in inner diameter. The background was filled with 18F solution with a radioactivity concentration of 2.65 kBq/mL. We prepared three sets of phantoms with SBRs of 16, 8, 4 and 2. The PET data were acquired for 20 min using a Biograph mCT scanner. The images were reconstructed with the baseline ordered subsets expectation maximization (OSEM) algorithm, and with the OSEM + PSF correction model (PSF). For the image reconstruction, the number of iterations ranged from one to 10. The phantom PET image analyses were performed by a visual assessment of the PET images and profiles, a contrast recovery coefficient (CRC), which is the ratio of SBR in the images to the true SBR, and the percent change in the maximum count between the OSEM and PSF images (Δ % counts). Results: In the PSF images, the spheres with a diameter of 17 mm or larger were surrounded by a dense edge in comparison with the OSEM images. In the spheres with a diameter of 22 mm or smaller, an overshoot appeared in the center of the spheres as a sharp peak in the PSF images in low SBR. These edge artifacts were clearly observed in relation to the increase of the SBR. The overestimation of the CRC was observed in 13 mm spheres in the PSF images. In the spheres with a diameter of 17 mm or smaller, the Δ % counts increased with an increasing SBR. The Δ % counts increased to 91 % in the 10-mm sphere at the SBR of 16. Conclusions: The edge artifacts in the PET images reconstructed using the PSF algorithm increased with an increasing SBR. In the small spheres, the edge artifact was observed as a sharp peak at the center of spheres and could result in overestimation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging