Assessment of deep learning-based PET attenuation correction frameworks in the sinogram domain

Hossein Arabi, Habib Zaidi*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    This study set out to investigate various deep learning frameworks for PET attenuation correction in the sinogram domain. Different models for both time-of-flight (TOF) and non-TOF PET emission data were implemented, including direct estimation of the attenuation corrected (AC) emission sinograms from the nonAC sinograms, estimation of the attenuation correction factors (ACFs) from PET emission data, correction of scattered photons prior to training of the models, and separate training of the models for each segment of the emission sinograms. A segmentation-based 2-class AC map was included as a bottom-line technique for comparison of the different models considering PET/CT AC as reference. Fifty clinical TOF PET/CT brain scans were employed for training whereas 20 were used for evaluation of the models. Quantitative analysis of the resulting PET images was carried out through region-wise standardized uptake value (SUV) bias calculation. The models relying on TOF information significantly outperformed the nonTOF models as well as the segmentation-based AC map resulting in maximum SUV bias of 6.5%, 9.5%, and 14.0%, respectively. Estimation of ACFs from either TOF or nonTOF PET emission data was very sensitive to prior scatter correction. However, direct estimation of AC sinograms from nonAC sinograms revealed no sensitivity to scatter correction, thus obviating the need for prior scatter estimation. For TOF PET data, though direct prediction of the AC sinograms does not require prior estimation of scattered photons, it requires input/output channels equal to the number of TOF bins which might be computationally or memory-wise expensive. Prediction of the ACF matrices from TOF emission data is less demanding in terms of memory as it requires only a single channel for output. AC in the sinogram domain of TOF PET data exhibited superior performance compared to both nonTOF and segmentation-based methods. However, such models require multiple input/output channels.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number145001
    Pages (from-to)1-16
    Number of pages16
    JournalPhysics in Medicine and Biology
    Issue number14
    Publication statusPublished - 21-Jul-2021


    • PET
    • CT
    • attenuation correction
    • machine learning
    • deep learning
    • quantification

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