Spatial resolution and sensitivity of the Inveon small-animal PET scanner

E. Visser, J. Disselhorst, M. Brom, P. Laverman, M. Gotthardt, W. Oyen and O. Boerman

Department of Nuclear Medicine, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
Jan, 2009



The Inveon small-animal PET scanner is characterized by a large, 127-mm axial length and a 161-mm crystal ring diameter. The associated high sensitivity is obtained by using all lines of response (LORs) up to the maximum ring difference (MRD) of 79, for which the most oblique LORs form acceptance angles of 38.3 degrees with transaxial planes. The result is 2 phenomena that are normally not encountered in PET scanners: a parallax or depth-of-interaction effect in the axial direction and the breakdown of Fourier rebinning (FORE). Both effects cause a deterioration of axial spatial resolution. Limiting the MRD to smaller values reduces this axial blurring at the cost of sensitivity. Alternatively, 3-dimensional (3D) reconstruction techniques can be used in which the rebinning step is absent. The aim of this study was to experimentally determine the spatial resolution and sensitivity of the Inveon for its whole field of view (FOV).Spatial resolution and sensitivity were measured using filtered backprojection (FBP) with FORE, FBP with LOR angle-weighted adapted FORE (AFORE), and 3D ordered-subset expectation maximization followed by maximum a posteriori reconstruction (OSEM3D/MAP).Tangential and radial full width at half maximum (FWHM) showed almost no dependence on the MRD using FORE and FBP. Tangential FWHMs were 1.5 mm in the center of the FOV (CFOV) and 1.8 mm at the edge of the FOV (EFOV). Radial FWHMs were 1.5 and 3.0 mm in the CFOV and EFOV, respectively. In contrast, axial FWHMs increased with the MRD and ranged between 1.1 and 2.0 mm in the CFOV and between 1.5 and 2.7 mm in the EFOV for a MRD between 1 and 79. AFORE improved the axial resolution for a large part of the FOV, but image noise increased. OSEM3D/MAP yielded uniform spatial resolution in all directions, with an average FWHM of 1.65+/-0.06 mm. Sensitivity in the CFOV for the default energy and coincidence time window was 0.068; peak sensitivity was 0.111.The Inveon showed high spatial resolution and high sensitivity, both of which can be maintained using OSEM3D/MAP reconstruction instead of rebinning and 2D algorithms.