We describe a practical statistical methodology for the reconstruction of PET images. Our approach is based on a Bayesian formulation of the imaging problem. The data are modelled as independent Poisson random variables and the image is modelled using a Markov random field smoothing prior. We describe a sequence of calibration procedures which are performed before reconstruction: (i) calculation of accurate attenuation correction factors from re-projected Bayesian reconstructions of the transmission image; (ii) estimation of the mean of the randoms component in the data; and (iii) computation of the scatter component in the data using a Klein-Nishina-based scatter estimation method. The Bayesian estimate of the PET image is then reconstructed using a pre-conditioned conjugate gradient method. We performed a quantitation study with a multi-compartment chest phantom in a Siemens/CTI ECAT931 system. Using 40 1 min frames, we computed the ensemble mean and variance over several regions of interest from images reconstructed using the Bayesian and a standard filtered backprojection (FBP) protocol. The values for the region of interest were compared with well counter data for each compartment. These results show that the Bayesian protocol can produce substantial improvements in relative quantitation over the standard FBP protocol, particularly when short transmission scans are used. An example showing the application of the method to a clinical chest study is also given.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology