Design features and performance of a PET system for animal research

P. D. Cutler, S. R. Cherry, E. J. Hoffman, W. M. Digby, M. E. Phelps

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

92 Scopus citations


The design features of a PET system designed for animal studies are described and its performance evaluated. The system employs a two-dimensional modular detector array consisting of bismuth germanate detector elements that are 3.5 mm (transaxially) by 6.25 mm (axially) by 30 mm (deep). These arrays are optically coupled to a pair of dual-photomultiplier tubes (PMT). The detector ring is 64 cm in diameter with a field of view (FOV) of 40 cm by 5.4 cm axially, acquiring 15 slices at 3.4 mm spacing. These features include: (1) digitization of PMT signals from each block for improved position and energy discrimination of coincident events and (2) dual-window energy discrimination for simultaneous but separate acquisition of photopeak and scatter data. Intrinsic resolution averages 3.5 mm at the center of the FOV, while reconstructed resolution (ramp filter) ranges from 3.8 mm at the center of the FOV to 4.6 mm at an 8 cm radius. Axial resolution averages 4.4 and 4.9 mm and sensitivity averages 4.2 and 6.1 kcps/μCi/cc for cross planes and enhanced direct planes, respectively. Randoms fraction is high due to reduced interplane shielding, giving a peak true count rate of 103 kcps for a 10 cm cylinder. Scatter as a fraction of trues is 16% for a 10 cm cylinder at a lower energy threshold of 350 keV. All parameters are sensitive to energy threshold. Spatial resolution improves by 11% transaxially and 9% axially, scatter fraction drops to 10%, and overall sensitivity drops by 48% when the threshold value is increased from 350 keV to 450 keV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)595-604
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Nuclear Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology


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