Performance of a BGO PET/CT with Higher Resolution PET Detectors

John W. Wilson, Missouri University of Science and Technology
Timothy G. Turkington
J. J. Williams
James G. Colsher
D. L. McDaniel
C. L. Kim
Steven G. Ross
C. W. Stearns
S. D. Wollenweber

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A new PET detector block has been designed to replace the standard detector of the Discovery ST PET/CT system. The new detector block is the same size as the original, but consists of an 8/spl times/6 (tangential× axial) matrix of crystals rather than the original 6/spl times/6. The new crystal dimensions are 4.7× 6.3× 30 mm/sup 3/ (tangential× axial× radial). Full PET/CT systems have been built with these detectors (Discovery STE). Most other aspects of the system are identical to the standard Discovery ST, with differences including the low energy threshold for 3D imaging (now 425 keV) and front-end electronics. Initial performance evaluation has been done, including NEMA NU2-2001 tests and imaging of the 3D Hoffman brain phantom and a neck phantom with small lesions. The system sensitivity was 1.90 counts/s/kBq in 2D, and 9.35 counts/s/kBq in 3D. Scatter fractions measured for 2D and 3D, respectively, were 18.6% and 34.5%. In 2D, the peak NEC of 89.9 kcps occurred at 47.0 kBq/cc. In 3D, the peak NEC of 74.3 kcps occurred at 8.5 kBq/cc. Spatial resolution (all expressed in mm FWHM) measured in 2D for 1 cm off-axis source 5.06 transaxial, 5.14 axial and for 10 cm source 5.45 radial, 5.86 tangential, and 6.23 axial. In 3D for 1 cm off-axis source 5.13 transaxial, 5.74 axial, and for 10 cm source 5.92 radial, 5.54 tangential, and 6.16 axial. Images of the brain and neck phantom demonstrate some improvement, compared to measurements on a standard Discovery ST.