Total-Body Dynamic Reconstruction and Parametric Imaging on the uEXPLORER

Xuezhu Zhang, Zhaoheng Xie, Eric Berg, Martin S. Judenhofer, Weiping Liu, Tianyi Xu, Yu Ding, Yang Lv, Yun Dong, Zilin Deng, Songsong Tang, Hongcheng Shi, Pengcheng Hu, Shuguang Chen, Jun Bao, Hongdi Li, Jian Zhou, Guobao Wang, Simon R. Cherry, Ramsey D. BadawiJinyi Qi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


The world's first 194-cm-long total-body PET/CT scanner (uEXPLORER) has been built by the EXPLORER Consortium to offer a transformative platform for human molecular imaging in clinical research and health care. Its total-body coverage and ultra-high sensitivity provide opportunities for more accurate tracer kinetic analysis in studies of physiology, biochemistry, and pharmacology. The objective of this study was to demonstrate the capability of total-body parametric imaging and to quantify the improvement in image quality and kinetic parameter estimation by direct and kernel reconstruction of the uEXPLORER data. Methods: We developed quantitative parametric image reconstruction methods for kinetic analysis and used them to analyze the first human dynamic total-body PET study. A healthy female subject was recruited, and a 1-h dynamic scan was acquired during and after an intravenous injection of 256 MBq of 18F-FDG. Dynamic data were reconstructed using a 3-dimensional time-of-flight list-mode ordered-subsets expectation maximization (OSEM) algorithm and a kernel-based algorithm with all quantitative corrections implemented in the forward model. The Patlak graphical model was used to analyze the 18F-FDG kinetics in the whole body. The input function was extracted from a region over the descending aorta. For comparison, indirect Patlak analysis from reconstructed frames and direct reconstruction of parametric images from the list-mode data were obtained for the last 30 min of data. Results: Images reconstructed by OSEM showed good quality with low noise, even for the 1-s frames. The image quality was further improved using the kernel method. Total-body Patlak parametric images were obtained using either indirect estimation or direct reconstruction. The direct reconstruction method improved the parametric image quality, having a better contrast-versus-noise tradeoff than the indirect method, with a 2- to 3-fold variance reduction. The kernel-based indirect Patlak method offered image quality similar to the direct Patlak method, with less computation time and faster convergence. Conclusion: This study demonstrated the capability of total-body parametric imaging using the uEXPLORER. Furthermore, the results showed the benefits of kernel-regularized reconstruction and direct parametric reconstruction. Both can achieve superior image quality for tracer kinetic studies compared with the conventional indirect OSEM for total-body imaging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)285-291
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of nuclear medicine : official publication, Society of Nuclear Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2020


  • direct reconstruction
  • kernel method
  • PET
  • total-body parametric imaging
  • tracer kinetics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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