We aimed to evaluate the influence of minimal misalignment of a hot spot on the repeatability of PET images using repositioning of point sources. Methods: Point sources with an inner diameter of 1 mm were made with 1 μL of 18F solution. Seven point sources were placed on the x-axis in the field of view. For fixed-position imaging, PET data were acquired for 10 min 5 times serially. For variable-position imaging, PET data were acquired for 10 min each with the point sources placed at 0, ±0.5, and ±1.0 mm in the x-axis direction. The data were reconstructed using ordered-subsets expectation maximization (OSEM) and OSEM plus point-spread function (PSF). The image matrix was 128 x 128, 200 x 200, 256 x 256, 400 x 400, and 512 x 512 pixels. The normalized maximum count (rMax), the coefficient of variance (CVmax), and the full width at half maximum were analyzed. Results: The hot spots on OSEM images far from the center became faint and broad, whereas those on OSEM1PSF images became small and dense. Although rMax was overestimated at the 5-cm position on OSEM images, rMax at other positions was overestimated on OSEM+PSF images with a matrix of at least 256 x 256. rMax showed a similar pattern in fixed- and variable-position images. CVmax in fixed-position OSEM images was less than 2%, irrespective of matrix size. In contrast, CVmax in variable-position images was higher than in fixed-position images. CVmax was higher for OSEM+PSF images than for OSEM images. The full width at half maximum increased at positions far from the center on OSEM images but was stable at all positions on OSEM+PSF images. Conclusion: The repeatability of the small hot spot was affected by the minimal misalignment, especially on OSEM+PSF images. Precise positioning is necessary if PET is to be used as a biomarker. Professionals should recognize that PSF correction worsens the repeatability of the small hot spot although improving the spatial resolution of PET images.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging