The authors have developed a small animal Positron emission tomography(PET)scanner based on monolithic LYSO crystals coupled to multi-anode photomultiplier tubes (MA-PMTs). In this study, the authors report on the design, calibration procedure, and performance evaluation of a PET system that the authors have developed using this innovative nonpixelated detector design.Methods
: The scanner is made up of eight compact modules forming an octagon with an axial field of view (FOV) of 40 mm and a transaxial FOV of 80 mm diameter. In order to fully determine its performance, a recently issued National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) NU-4 protocol, specifically developed for small animal PETscanners, has been followed. By measuring the width of light distribution collected in the MA-PMT the authors are able to determine depth of interaction (DOI), thus making the proper identification of lines of response (LORs) with large incidence angles possible. PET performances are compared with those obtained with currently commercially available small animal PETscanners.Results
: At axial center when the point-like source is located at 5 mm from the radial center, the spatial resolution measured was 1.65, 1.80, and 1.86 mm full width at half maximum (FWHM) for radial, tangential, and axial image profiles, respectively. A system scatter fraction of 7.5% (mouse-like phantom) and 13% (rat-like phantom) was obtained, while the maximum noise equivalent count rate (NECR) was 16.9 kcps at 12.7 MBq (0.37 MBq/ml) for mouse-like phantom and 12.8 kcps at 12.4 MBq (0.042 MBq/ml) for rat-like phantom The peak absolute sensitivity in the center of the FOV is 2% for a 30% peak energy window. Several animal images are also presented.Conclusions:
The overall performance of our small animal PET is comparable to that obtained with much more complex crystal pixelated PET systems. Moreover, the new proposed PET produces high-quality images suitable for studies with small animals.
This work was supported by the Spanish Plan Nacional de Investigación Científica, Desarrollo e Innovación Tecnológica (I+D+I) under Grant No. FIS2010-21216-CO2-01 and Valencian Local Government under Grant No. PROMETEO 2008/114. The authors would like to thank Andrew Duncan for checking and correcting the text.
II. PET DESIGN
III. PET CALIBRATION
III.A. PET modules position calibration
III.B. PET module pulse height correction
III.C. PET Normalization
IV. PETSCANNER PERFORMANCE
IV.A. Spatial resolution
IV.C. Scatter fraction, count losses, and random coincidence measurements
IV.D. Image quality
V. COMPARISON WITH OTHER SMALL ANIMAL PET
VI. ANIMAL STUDIES
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