1Division of Radiology, Public Central Hospital of Matto Ishikawa, Hakusan, Japan
2PET Imaging Center, Public Central Hospital of Matto Ishikawa, Hakusan, Japan
3Department of Health Sciences, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kanazawa University, Kanazawa, Japan
4Department of Nuclear Medicine, Kanazawa University Hospital, Kanazawa, Japan
Objective(s): This study was designed to assess defect detectability in positron emission tomography (PET) imaging of abdominal lesions. Methods: A National Electrical Manufactures Association International Electrotechnical Commission phantom was used. The simulated abdominal lesion was scanned for 10 min using dynamic list-mode acquisition method. Images, acquired with scan duration of 1-10 min, were reconstructed using VUE point HD and a 4.7 mm full-width at half-maximum (FWHM) Gaussian filter. Iteration-subset combinations of 2-16 and 2-32 were used. Visual and physical analyses were performed using the acquired images. To sequentially evaluate defect detectability in clinical settings, we examined two middle-aged male subjects. One had a liver cyst (approximately 10 mm in diameter) and the other suffered from pancreatic cancer with an inner defect region (approximately 9 mm in diameter). Results: In the phantom study, at least 6 and 3 min acquisition durations were required to visualize 10 and 13 mm defect spheres, respectively. On the other hand, spheres with diameters ≥17 mm could be detected even if the acquisition duration was only 1 min. The visual scores were significantly correlated with background (BG) variability. In clinical settings, the liver cyst could be slightly visualized with an acquisition duration of 6 min, although image quality was suboptimal. For pancreatic cancer, the acquisition duration of 3 min was insufficient to clearly describe the defect region. Conclusion: The improvement of BG variability is the most important factor for enhancing lesion detection. Our clinical scan duration (3 min/bed) may not be suitable for the detection of small lesions or accurate tumor delineation since an acquisition duration of at least 6 min is required to visualize 10 mm lesions, regardless of reconstruction parameters. Improvements in defect detectability are important for radiation treatment planning and accurate PET-based diagnosis.
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