The Influence of PET and CT Misalignment due to Respiratory Motion on the Cardiac PET/CT Imaging: a Simulation Study
Purpose: Potential causes of misalignment between anatomical and functional images in cardiac PET/CT imaging include respiratory and cardiac motion as well as bulk motion. In this study we evaluated the impact of respiratory and cardiac motion between CT and corresponding CT-based attenuation corrected (CTAC) PET images on apparent myocardial uptake.
Methods: PET projection data of the 4D XCAT phantom were analytically generated using an analytic simulator considering the effect of photon attenuation and Poisson noise. The assessment of PET images was performed through qualitative interpretation by an experienced nuclear medicine physician and a volume of interest based quantitative analysis. Moreover, Box and Whisker plots were calculated and bull’s eye view analysis performed. PET images were also reoriented along the short, horizontal and vertical long axis views for a better qualitative interpretation.
Results: The simulation study showed that using the attenuation map at end-exhalation of the respiratory phase consistently overestimated the activity concentration in all segments of the myocardial wall as opposed to using the end-inhalation attenuation map image which resulted in
Conclusion: CT images acquired at end-exhalation could introduce larger errors compared to end-inhalation. These errors decrease significantly when the attenuation map was acquired at mid-inhalation or mid-exhalation phases of the respiratory cycle.
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