NEMA NU-04-based performance characteristics of the LabPET-8™ small animal PET scanner
Animals | Body Size | Mice | Organizations/standards | Phantoms, Imaging | Positron-Emission Tomography/methods/standards | Rats | Scattering, Radiation
The objective of this study is to characterize the performance of the preclinical avalanche photodiode (APD)-based LabPET-8™ subsystem of the fully integrated trimodality PET/SPECT/CT Triumph™ scanner using the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) NU 04-2008 protocol. The characterized performance parameters include the spatial resolution, sensitivity, scatter fraction, counts rate performance and image-quality characteristics. The PET system is fully digital using APD-based detector modules with highly integrated electronics. The detector assembly consists of phoswich pairs of Lu(1.9)Y(0.1)SiO(5) (LYSO) and Lu(0.4)Gd(1.6)SiO(5) (LGSO) crystals with dimensions of 2 × 2 × 14 mm(3) having 7.5 cm axial and 10 cm transverse field of view (FOV). The spatial resolution and sensitivity were measured using a small (22)Na point source at different positions in the scanner's FOV. The scatter fraction and count rate characteristics were measured using mouse- and rat-sized phantoms fitted with an (18)F line source. The overall imaging capabilities of the scanner were assessed using the NEMA image-quality phantom and laboratory animal studies. The NEMA-based radial and tangential spatial resolution ranged from 1.7 mm at the center of the FOV to 2.59 mm at a radial offset of 2.5 cm and from 1.85 mm at the center of the FOV to 1.76 mm at a radial offset of 2.5 cm, respectively. Iterative reconstruction improved the spatial resolution to 0.84 mm at the center of the FOV. The total absolute system sensitivity is 12.74% for an energy window of 250-650 keV. For the mouse-sized phantom, the peak noise equivalent count rate (NECR) is 183 kcps at 2.07 MBq cc(-1), whereas the peak true count rate is 320 kcps at 2.5 MBq cc(-1) with a scatter fraction of 19%. The rat-sized phantom had a scatter fraction of 31%, with a peak NECR of 67 kcps at 0.23 MBq cc(-1) and a peak true count rate of 186 kcps at 0.27 MBq cc(-1). The average activity concentration and percentage standard deviation were 126.97 kBq ml(-1) and 7%, respectively. The performance of the LabPET-8™ scanner was characterized based on the NEMA NU 04-2008 standards. The all in all performance demonstrates that the LabPET-8™ system is able to produce high-quality and highly contrasted images in a reasonable time, and as such it is well suited for preclinical molecular imaging-based research.