PET iterative reconstruction incorporating an efficient positron range correction method

Ottavia Bertolli*, Afroditi Eleftheriou, Matteo Cecchetti, Niccolò Camarlinghi, Nicola Belcari, Charalampos Tsoumpas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Positron range is one of the main physical effects limiting the spatial resolution of positron emission tomography (PET) images. If positrons travel inside a magnetic field, for instance inside a nuclear magnetic resonance (MR) tomograph, the mean range will be smaller but still significant. In this investigation we examined a method to correct for the positron range effect in iterative image reconstruction by including tissue-specific kernels in the forward projection operation. The correction method was implemented within STIR library (Software for Tomographic Image Reconstruction). In order to obtain the positron annihilation distribution of various radioactive isotopes in water and lung tissue, simulations were performed with the Monte Carlo package GATE [Jan et al. 2004 [1]] simulating different magnetic field intensities (0 T, 3 T, 9.5 T and 11 T) along the axial scanner direction. The positron range kernels were obtained for 68Ga in water and lung tissue for 0 T and 3 T magnetic field voxellizing the annihilation coordinates into a three-dimensional matrix. The proposed method was evaluated using simulations of material-variant and material-invariant positron range corrections for the HYPERImage preclinical PET-MR scanner. The use of the correction resulted in sharper active region boundary definition, albeit with noise enhancement, and in the recovery of the true activity mean value of the hot regions. Moreover, in the case where a magnetic field is present, the correction accounts for the non-isotropy of the positron range effect, resulting in the recovery of resolution along the axial plane.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-330
Number of pages8
JournalPhysica Medica
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1-Feb-2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Iterative reconstruction
  • PET
  • PET/MR
  • Positron range
  • STIR

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