Theoretical Analysis of Penalized Maximum-Likelihood Patlak Parametric Image Reconstruction in Dynamic PET for Lesion Detection

Li Yang, Guobao Wang, Jinyi Qi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Detecting cancerous lesions is a major clinical application of emission tomography. In a previous work, we studied penalized maximum-likelihood (PML) image reconstruction for lesion detection in static PET. Here we extend our theoretical analysis of static PET reconstruction to dynamic PET. We study both the conventional indirect reconstruction and direct reconstruction for Patlak parametric image estimation. In indirect reconstruction, Patlak parametric images are generated by first reconstructing a sequence of dynamic PET images, and then performing Patlak analysis on the time activity curves (TACs) pixel-by-pixel. In direct reconstruction, Patlak parametric images are estimated directly from raw sinogram data by incorporating the Patlak model into the image reconstruction procedure. PML reconstruction is used in both the indirect and direct reconstruction methods. We use a channelized Hotelling observer (CHO) to assess lesion detectability in Patlak parametric images. Simplified expressions for evaluating the lesion detectability have been derived and applied to the selection of the regularization parameter value to maximize detection performance. The proposed method is validated using computer-based Monte Carlo simulations. Good agreements between the theoretical predictions and the Monte Carlo results are observed. Both theoretical predictions and Monte Carlo simulation results show the benefit of the indirect and direct methods under optimized regularization parameters in dynamic PET reconstruction for lesion detection, when compared with the conventional static PET reconstruction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7335633
Pages (from-to)947-956
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016


  • Dynamic PET
  • lesion detection
  • Patlak model
  • PML reconstruction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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