The performance of dual-ended readout depth-encoding positron emission tomography (PET) detectors based on bismuth germanate (BGO) coupled to silicon photomultipliers (SiPM) arrays was measured for the first time and compared to lutetium-yttrium oxyorthosilicate (LYSO)-based detectors using the same readout. The BGO and LYSO crystal arrays all had a crystal pitch of 2.2 mm and were coupled to 8 × 8 SiPM arrays with a matching pitch of 2.2 mm, using a one-to-one coupling configuration. Three types of crystals with Toray reflector were used: polished LYSO, polished BGO, and unpolished BGO, and for two different crystal thicknesses of 20 mm and 30 mm. All the crystal elements in the BGO arrays were clearly resolved in the flood histogram. Better flood histograms were obtained using the LYSO arrays for a selected crystal thickness, and better flood histograms were obtained using the 20 mm thick crystal arrays for a selected crystal type. The average crystal level energy resolution and timing resolution for 20 mm polished LYSO, polished BGO and unpolished BGO crystals at their optimal SiPM bias voltage were 18.6 ± 1.3% and 1.19 ± 0.20 ns, 17.8 ± 0.8% and 4.43 ± 0.47 ns, and 18.0 ± 1.0% and 4.68 ± 1.0 ns, respectively. Depth-of-interaction (DOI) resolution of the 20 mm polished LYSO array was 2.31 ± 0.17 mm and for the 20 mm unpolished BGO array was 3.53 ± 0.25 mm. However, polished BGO arrays with Toray reflector did not provide DOI information. Our key conclusion is that dual-ended readout depth-encoding 20 mm thick unpolished BGO detectors are good candidates for low-activity PET systems with small field-of-view and low timing performance requirements, such as preclinical or compact organ-dedicated PET systems, with the advantage over LYSO of having no background radiation and significantly lower cost.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging