Experimental evaluation of the resolution improvement provided by a silicon PET probe

Brzezinski, K., Oliver, J. F., Gillam, J., Rafecas, M., Studen, A., Grkovski, M., Kagan, H., Smith, S., Llosa, G., Lacasta, C. & Clinthorne, N. H., Sep-2016, In : Journal of Instrumentation. 11, 13 p., 09016.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

  • K. Brzezinski
  • J. F. Oliver
  • J. Gillam
  • M. Rafecas
  • A. Studen
  • M. Grkovski
  • H. Kagan
  • S. Smith
  • G. Llosa
  • C. Lacasta
  • N. H. Clinthorne

A high-resolution PET system, which incorporates a silicon detector probe into a conventional PET scanner, has been proposed to obtain increased image quality in a limited region of interest. Detailed simulation studies have previously shown that the additional probe information improves the spatial resolution of the reconstructed image and increases lesion detectability, with no cost to other image quality measures. The current study expands on the previous work by using a laboratory prototype of the silicon PET-probe system to examine the resolution improvement in an experimental setting. Two different versions of the probe prototype were assessed, both consisting of a back-to-back pair of 1-mm thick silicon pad detectors, one arranged in 32 x 16 arrays of 1.4mm x 1.4mm pixels and the other in 40 x 26 arrays of 1.0mm x 1.0mm pixels. Each detector was read out by a set of VATAGP7 ASICs and a custom-designed data acquisition board which allowed trigger and data interfacing with the PET scanner, itself consisting of BGO block detectors segmented into 8 x 6 arrays of 6mm x 12mm x 30mm crystals. Limited-angle probe data was acquired from a group of Na-22 point-like sources in order to observe the maximum resolution achievable using the probe system. Data from a Derenzo-like resolution phantom was acquired, then scaled to obtain similar statistical quality as that of previous simulation studies. In this case, images were reconstructed using measurements of the PET ring alone and with the inclusion of the probe data. Images of the Na-22 source demonstrated a resolution of 1.5mm FWHM in the probe data, the PET ring resolution being approximately 6 mm. Profiles taken through the image of the Derenzo-like phantom showed a clear increase in spatial resolution. Improvements in peak-to-valley ratios of 50% and 38%, in the 4.8mm and 4.0mm phantom features respectively, were observed, while previously unresolvable 3.2mm features were brought to light by the addition of the probe. These results support the possibility of improving the image resolution of a clinical PET scanner using the silicon PET-probe.

Original languageEnglish
Article number09016
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Instrumentation
Publication statusPublished - Sep-2016


  • Gamma camera, SPECT, PET PET/CT, coronary CT angiography (CTA), Medical-image reconstruction methods and algorithms, computer-aided software

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