An Investigation of MR Sequences for Partial Volume Correction in PET Image Reconstruction

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Brain Positron emission tomography (PET) has been widely employed for the clinic diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Studies have shown that PET imaging is helpful in differentiating healthy elderly individuals, mild cognitive impairment (MCI) individuals, and AD individuals (Nordberg, Rinne, Kadir, & Långström, 2010). However, PET image quality and quantitative accuracy is degraded from partial volume effects (PVEs), which are due to the poor spatial resolution of PET. As a result, the compensation of PVEs in PET may be of great significance in the improvement of early diagnosis of AD. There are many different approaches available to address PVEs including region-based methods and voxel-based methods. In this study, a voxel-based PVE compensation technique using high-resolution anatomical images was investigated. The high-resolution anatomical images could be computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) images. Such methods have been proposed and investigated in many studies (Vunckx et al., 2012). However, relatively little research has been done on comparing the effects of different MRI images on voxel-based PVE correction methods. In this study, we compare the effect of 6 different MRI image protocols on PVE compensation in PET images. The MRI protocols compared in this study are T1-, T2-, proton-density (PD)-weighted and 3 different inversion recovery MRI protocols.

Results: OSEM and MAP/ICD images with isotropic prior are blurry and/or noisy. Compared with the OSEM and MAP/ICD images obtained by using an isotropic prior, the PET image reconstructed using anatomical information show better contrast and less noise. Visually, the PET image reconstructed with the ZeroCSF prior gave the PET image that visually appears to match best with the PET phantom. PET images reconstructed with T2, PD and ZeroWM image are similar to one another in image quality, but relative to the PET phantom and the ZeroCSF PET image, these images have poor contrast between CSF pockets and surrounding GM tissue, and they have less contrast between GM and WM. PET image reconstructed with T1 image had a better GM and CSF contrast, some of the CSF pockets in GM were reconstructed, but the WM region was very noisy. PET images reconstructed with ZeroGM image had noticeably worse performance on the GM reconstruction. Analysis suggest that these effects are caused by differences in tissue contrast with different MRI protocols

Keywords: PET, MRI, partial volume effect, image reconstruction, SPECT, Alzheimer's disease.





Wang, Gong (2019). An Investigation of MR Sequences for Partial Volume Correction in PET Image Reconstruction. Master's thesis, Duke University. Retrieved from


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