Quantitative image reconstruction for total-body PET imaging using the 2-meter long EXPLORER scanner

Xuezhu Zhang, Jian Zhou, Simon R Cherry, Ramsey D Badawi, Jinyi Qi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


The EXPLORER project aims to build a 2 meter long total-body PET scanner, which will provide extremely high sensitivity for imaging the entire human body. It will possess a range of capabilities currently unavailable to state-of-the-art clinical PET scanners with a limited axial field-of-view. The huge number of lines-of-response (LORs) of the EXPLORER poses a challenge to the data handling and image reconstruction. The objective of this study is to develop a quantitative image reconstruction method for the EXPLORER and compare its performance with current whole-body scanners. Fully 3D image reconstruction was performed using time-of-flight list-mode data with parallel computation. To recover the resolution loss caused by the parallax error between crystal pairs at a large axial ring difference or transaxial radial offset, we applied an image domain resolution model estimated from point source data. To evaluate the image quality, we conducted computer simulations using the SimSET Monte-Carlo toolkit and XCAT 2.0 anthropomorphic phantom to mimic a 20 min whole-body PET scan with an injection of 25 MBq 18F-FDG. We compare the performance of the EXPLORER with a current clinical scanner that has an axial FOV of 22 cm. The comparison results demonstrated superior image quality from the EXPLORER with a 6.9-fold reduction in noise standard deviation comparing with multi-bed imaging using the clinical scanner.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2465-2485
Number of pages21
JournalPhysics in Medicine and Biology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Feb 27 2017


  • image quality evaluation
  • image reconstruction
  • low dose imaging
  • positron emission tomography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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