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Title: Dual energy CT for attenuation correction with PET/CT

Abstract

Purpose: The authors evaluate the energy dependent noise and bias properties of monoenergetic images synthesized from dual-energy CT (DECT) acquisitions. These monoenergetic images can be used to estimate attenuation coefficients at energies suitable for positron emission tomography (PET) and single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) imaging. This is becoming more relevant with the increased use of quantitative imaging by PET/CT and SPECT/CT scanners. There are, however, potential variations in the noise and bias of synthesized monoenergetic images as a function of energy. Methods: The authors used analytic approximations and simulations to estimate the noise and bias of synthesized monoenergetic images of water-filled cylinders with different shapes and the NURBS-based cardiac-torso (NCAT) phantom from 40 to 520 keV, the range of SPECT and PET energies. The dual-kVp spectra were based on the GE Lightspeed VCT scanner at 80 and 140 kVp with added filtration of 0.5 mm Cu. The authors evaluated strategies of noise suppression with sinogram smoothing and dose minimization with reduction of tube currents at the two kVp settings. The authors compared the impact of DECT-based attenuation correction with single-kVp CT-based attenuation correction on PET quantitation for the NCAT phantom for soft tissue and high-Z materials of bone and iodinemore » contrast enhancement. Results: Both analytic calculations and simulations displayed the expected minimum noise value for a synthesized monoenergetic image at an energy between the mean energies of the two spectra. In addition the authors found that the normalized coefficient of variation in the synthesized attenuation map increased with energy but reached a plateau near 160 keV, and then remained constant with increasing energy up to 511 keV and beyond. The bias was minimal, as the linear attenuation coefficients of the synthesized monoenergetic images were within 2.4% of the known true values across the entire energy range. Compared with no sinogram smoothing, sinogram smoothing can dramatically reduce noise in the DECT-derived attenuation map. Through appropriate selection of tube currents for high and low kVp scans, DECT can deliver roughly the same amount of radiation dose as that of a single kVp CT scan, but could be used for PET attenuation correction with reduced bias in contrast agent regions by a factor of ∼2.6 and slightly reduced RMSE for the total image. Conclusions: When DECT is used for attenuation correction at higher energies, there is a noise amplification that is dependent on the energy of the synthesized monoenergetic image of linear attenuation coefficients. Sinogram smoothing reduces the noise amplification in DECT-derived attenuation maps without increasing bias. With an appropriate selection of CT techniques, a DECT scan with the same radiation dose as a single CT scan can result in a PET image with improved quantitative accuracy.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3]
  1. Department of Bioengineering, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98105 (United States)
  2. Department of Radiology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98105 (United States)
  3. Departments of Radiology and Bioengineering, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98105 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22251300
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Medical Physics; Journal Volume: 41; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: (c) 2014 American Association of Physicists in Medicine; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
62 RADIOLOGY AND NUCLEAR MEDICINE; ATTENUATION; COMPUTERIZED TOMOGRAPHY; CORRECTIONS; IMAGE PROCESSING; IMAGES; NOISE; PHANTOMS; POSITRON COMPUTED TOMOGRAPHY; RADIATION DOSES; SINGLE PHOTON EMISSION COMPUTED TOMOGRAPHY; SKELETON

Citation Formats

Xia, Ting, Alessio, Adam M., and Kinahan, Paul E., E-mail: kinahan@uw.edu. Dual energy CT for attenuation correction with PET/CT. United States: N. p., 2014. Web. doi:10.1118/1.4828838.
Xia, Ting, Alessio, Adam M., & Kinahan, Paul E., E-mail: kinahan@uw.edu. Dual energy CT for attenuation correction with PET/CT. United States. doi:10.1118/1.4828838.
Xia, Ting, Alessio, Adam M., and Kinahan, Paul E., E-mail: kinahan@uw.edu. Wed . "Dual energy CT for attenuation correction with PET/CT". United States. doi:10.1118/1.4828838.
@article{osti_22251300,
title = {Dual energy CT for attenuation correction with PET/CT},
author = {Xia, Ting and Alessio, Adam M. and Kinahan, Paul E., E-mail: kinahan@uw.edu},
abstractNote = {Purpose: The authors evaluate the energy dependent noise and bias properties of monoenergetic images synthesized from dual-energy CT (DECT) acquisitions. These monoenergetic images can be used to estimate attenuation coefficients at energies suitable for positron emission tomography (PET) and single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) imaging. This is becoming more relevant with the increased use of quantitative imaging by PET/CT and SPECT/CT scanners. There are, however, potential variations in the noise and bias of synthesized monoenergetic images as a function of energy. Methods: The authors used analytic approximations and simulations to estimate the noise and bias of synthesized monoenergetic images of water-filled cylinders with different shapes and the NURBS-based cardiac-torso (NCAT) phantom from 40 to 520 keV, the range of SPECT and PET energies. The dual-kVp spectra were based on the GE Lightspeed VCT scanner at 80 and 140 kVp with added filtration of 0.5 mm Cu. The authors evaluated strategies of noise suppression with sinogram smoothing and dose minimization with reduction of tube currents at the two kVp settings. The authors compared the impact of DECT-based attenuation correction with single-kVp CT-based attenuation correction on PET quantitation for the NCAT phantom for soft tissue and high-Z materials of bone and iodine contrast enhancement. Results: Both analytic calculations and simulations displayed the expected minimum noise value for a synthesized monoenergetic image at an energy between the mean energies of the two spectra. In addition the authors found that the normalized coefficient of variation in the synthesized attenuation map increased with energy but reached a plateau near 160 keV, and then remained constant with increasing energy up to 511 keV and beyond. The bias was minimal, as the linear attenuation coefficients of the synthesized monoenergetic images were within 2.4% of the known true values across the entire energy range. Compared with no sinogram smoothing, sinogram smoothing can dramatically reduce noise in the DECT-derived attenuation map. Through appropriate selection of tube currents for high and low kVp scans, DECT can deliver roughly the same amount of radiation dose as that of a single kVp CT scan, but could be used for PET attenuation correction with reduced bias in contrast agent regions by a factor of ∼2.6 and slightly reduced RMSE for the total image. Conclusions: When DECT is used for attenuation correction at higher energies, there is a noise amplification that is dependent on the energy of the synthesized monoenergetic image of linear attenuation coefficients. Sinogram smoothing reduces the noise amplification in DECT-derived attenuation maps without increasing bias. With an appropriate selection of CT techniques, a DECT scan with the same radiation dose as a single CT scan can result in a PET image with improved quantitative accuracy.},
doi = {10.1118/1.4828838},
journal = {Medical Physics},
number = 1,
volume = 41,
place = {United States},
year = {Wed Jan 15 00:00:00 EST 2014},
month = {Wed Jan 15 00:00:00 EST 2014}
}
  • Purpose: The authors evaluate the energy dependent noise and bias properties of monoenergetic images synthesized from dual-energy CT (DECT) acquisitions. These monoenergetic images can be used to estimate attenuation coefficients at energies suitable for positron emission tomography (PET) and single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) imaging. This is becoming more relevant with the increased use of quantitative imaging by PET/CT and SPECT/CT scanners. There are, however, potential variations in the noise and bias of synthesized monoenergetic images as a function of energy. Methods: The authors used analytic approximations and simulations to estimate the noise and bias of synthesized monoenergetic images ofmore » water-filled cylinders with different shapes and the NURBS-based cardiac-torso (NCAT) phantom from 40 to 520 keV, the range of SPECT and PET energies. The dual-kVp spectra were based on the GE Lightspeed VCT scanner at 80 and 140 kVp with added filtration of 0.5 mm Cu. The authors evaluated strategies of noise suppression with sinogram smoothing and dose minimization with reduction of tube currents at the two kVp settings. The authors compared the impact of DECT-based attenuation correction with single-kVp CT-based attenuation correction on PET quantitation for the NCAT phantom for soft tissue and high-Z materials of bone and iodine contrast enhancement. Results: Both analytic calculations and simulations displayed the expected minimum noise value for a synthesized monoenergetic image at an energy between the mean energies of the two spectra. In addition the authors found that the normalized coefficient of variation in the synthesized attenuation map increased with energy but reached a plateau near 160 keV, and then remained constant with increasing energy up to 511 keV and beyond. The bias was minimal, as the linear attenuation coefficients of the synthesized monoenergetic images were within 2.4% of the known true values across the entire energy range. Compared with no sinogram smoothing, sinogram smoothing can dramatically reduce noise in the DECT-derived attenuation map. Through appropriate selection of tube currents for high and low kVp scans, DECT can deliver roughly the same amount of radiation dose as that of a single kVp CT scan, but could be used for PET attenuation correction with reduced bias in contrast agent regions by a factor of ∼2.6 and slightly reduced RMSE for the total image. Conclusions: When DECT is used for attenuation correction at higher energies, there is a noise amplification that is dependent on the energy of the synthesized monoenergetic image of linear attenuation coefficients. Sinogram smoothing reduces the noise amplification in DECT-derived attenuation maps without increasing bias. With an appropriate selection of CT techniques, a DECT scan with the same radiation dose as a single CT scan can result in a PET image with improved quantitative accuracy.« less
  • We proposed a low-dose average computer tomography (ACT) for attenuation correction (AC) of the PET cardiac data in PET/CT. The ACT was obtained from a cine CT scan of over one breath cycle per couch position while the patient was free breathing. We applied this technique on four patients who underwent tumor imaging with {sup 18}F-FDG in PET/CT, whose PET data showed high uptake of {sup 18}F-FDG in the heart and whose CT and PET data had misregistration. All four patients did not have known myocardiac infarction or ischemia. The patients were injected with 555-740 MBq of {sup 18}F-FDG andmore » scanned 1 h after injection. The helical CT (HCT) data were acquired in 16 s for the coverage of 100 cm. The PET acquisition was 3 min per bed of 15 cm. The duration of cine CT acquisition per 2 cm was 5.9 s. We used a fast gantry rotation cycle time of 0.5 s to minimize motion induced reconstruction artifacts in the cine CT images, which were averaged to become the ACT images for AC of the PET data. The radiation dose was about 5 mGy for 5.9 s cine duration. The selection of 5.9 s was based on our analysis of the respiratory signals of 600 patients; 87% of the patients had average breath cycles of less than 6 s and 90% had standard deviations of less than 1 s in the period of breath cycle. In all four patient studies, registrations between the CT and the PET data were improved. An increase of average uptake in the anterior and the lateral walls up to 48% and a decrease of average uptake in the septal and the inferior walls up to 16% with ACT were observed. We also compared ACT and conventional slow scan CT (SSCT) of 4 s duration in one patient study and found ACT was better than SSCT in depicting average respiratory motion and the SSCT images showed motion-induced reconstruction artifacts. In conclusion, low-dose ACT improved registration of the CT and the PET data in the heart region in our study of four patients. ACT was superior than SSCT for depicting average respiration motion in a patient study.« less
  • Our previous patient studies have shown that the use of respiration averaged computed tomography (ACT) for attenuation correction of the positron emission tomography (PET) data from PET/CT reduces the potential misalignment in the thorax region by matching the temporal resolution of the CT to that of the PET. In the present work, we investigated other approaches of acquiring ACT in order to reduce the CT dose and to improve the ease of clinical implementation. Four-dimensional CT (4DCT) data sets for ten patients (17 lung/esophageal tumors) were acquired in the thoracic region immediately after the routine PET/CT scan. For each patient,more » multiple sets of ACTs were generated based on both phase image averaging (phase approach) and fixed cine duration image averaging (cine approach). In the phase approach, the ACTs were calculated from CT images corresponding to the significant phases of the respiratory cycle: ACT{sub 050phs} from end-inspiration (0%) and end-expiration (50%), ACT{sub 2070phs} from mid-inspiration (20%) and mid-expiration (70%), ACT{sub 4phs} from 0%, 20%, 50% and 70%, and ACT{sub 10phs} from all ten phases, which was the original approach. In the cine approach, which does not require 4DCT, the ACTs were calculated based on the cine images from cine durations of 1 to 6 s at 1 s increments. PET emission data for each patient were attenuation corrected with each of the above mentioned ACTs and the tumor maximum standard uptake value (SUV{sub max}), average SUV (SUV{sub avg}), and tumor volume measurements were compared. Percent differences were calculated between PET data corrected with various ACTs and that corrected with ACT{sub 10phs}. In the phase approach, the ACT{sub 10phs} can be approximated by the ACT{sub 4phs} to within a mean percent difference of 2% in SUV and tumor volume measurements. In cine approach, ACT{sub 10phs} can be approximated to within a mean percent difference of 3% by ACTs computed from cine durations {>=}3 s. Acquiring CT images only at the four significant phases for the ACT can reduce radiation dose to 1/3 of the current 4DCT dose; however, the implementation of this approach requires additional hardware that is not standard equipment on PET/CT scanners. In the cine approach, we recommend a duration of 6{+-}1 s in order to include variations of respiratory patterns in a larger population. This approach can be easily implemented because cine acquisition mode is available on all GE PET/CT scanners. The CT dose in the cine approach can be reduced to approximately 5 mGy by using the lowest mA setting (10 mA), while still maintaining good quality CT data for PET attenuation correction. In our scanning protocol, the ACT is only acquired if respiration-induced misregistration is observed (determined before the PET scan is completed), and therefore patients do not receive unnecessary CT radiation dose.« less
  • The authors have developed a prototype emission-transmission computed tomographic (ETCT) system, which can acquire both radionuclide-emission and dual-energy X-ray transmission data. The dual-energy X-ray data are used to synthesize an object and energy-specific attenuation map which is incorporated into an ML-EM algorithm to reconstruct an attenuation corrected SPECT image. The technique was applied to a thoraxlike phantom with regions simulating lung, background and cardiac regions, and bone. SPECT images reconstructed with no attenuation correction, or with a uniform water-equivalent map, contained increased count levels in the lung region and reduced count levels in the cardiac region as compared with themore » radioactivity concentrations contained in the phantom. Use of an object-specific attenuation map improved the accuracy of the reconstruction, but overestimated the activity in the cardiac chamber by about 10%. This error was reduced to about 5% when the attenuation coefficients were modified to include the effects of scattered radiation.« less
  • A tube-voltage-dependent scheme is presented for transforming Hounsfield units (HU) measured by different computed tomography (CT) scanners at different x-ray tube voltages (kVp) to 511 keV linear attenuation values for attenuation correction in positron emission tomography (PET) data reconstruction. A Gammex 467 electron density CT phantom was imaged using a Siemens Sensation 16-slice CT, a Siemens Emotion 6-slice CT, a GE Lightspeed 16-slice CT, a Hitachi CXR 4-slice CT, and a Toshiba Aquilion 16-slice CT at kVp ranging from 80 to 140 kVp. All of these CT scanners are also available in combination with a PET scanner as a PET/CTmore » tomograph. HU obtained for various reference tissue substitutes in the phantom were compared with the known linear attenuation values at 511 keV. The transformation, appropriate for lung, soft tissue, and bone, yields the function 9.6x10{sup -5}{center_dot}(HU+1000) below a threshold of {approx}50 HU and a{center_dot}(HU+1000)+b above the threshold, where a and b are fixed parameters that depend on the kVp setting. The use of the kVp-dependent scaling procedure leads to a significant improvement in reconstructed PET activity levels in phantom measurements, resolving errors of almost 40% otherwise seen for the case of dense bone phantoms at 80 kVp. Results are also presented for patient studies involving multiple CT scans at different kVp settings, which should all lead to the same 511 keV linear attenuation values. A linear fit to values obtained from 140 kVp CT images using the kVp-dependent scaling plotted as a function of the corresponding values obtained from 80 kVp CT images yielded y=1.003x-0.001 with an R{sup 2} value of 0.999, indicating that the same values are obtained to a high degree of accuracy.« less