Detector Considerations for Time-of-Flight in Positron Emission Tomography

by Bauer, Florian, PhD

Abstract (Summary)
Positron-Emission-Tomography (PET) is a modern imaging technique in nuclear medicine providing quantitative 3D distribution of a radioactive tracer substance in the human body. The gamma-detector is the first link in the chain of components that constitutes a PET. It converts incoming radiation into optical light pulses, which are detected by photo multiplier tubes. Here the light is converted into electric pulses, to be further processed by the acquisition electronics. Improving detector sensitivity and resolution is of great value in research and in clinical practice.The focus of this work is to improve the detector to give it time-of-flight (TOF) capabilities, in order to further improve sensitivity, which in turn leads to increased image quality, faster scan time and/or reduced dose exposure for the patient.Image quality has improved over the years, but losses in image quality have been reported for heavy patients, due to increased attenuation, and more dispersed counts over a larger volume. Instrumentation limits are still significant in heavy patient images, but the incorporation of TOF information promises to alleviate some of the limitations.In order to improve the timing resolution of the detector fast photo-multipliers and a novel scheme to extract the event timing trigger from a detector by using the summed dynode signal were investigated.When designing new PET detectors, it is important to have detailed understanding and control of the light sharing mechanisms in the crystal arrays. Therefore it was necessary to perform optical simulations and single crystal light output measurements to derive a model for an LSO block detector.Another way to improve the image quality is to use the depth-of-interaction (DOI) of the gamma ray within the detector. It is shown that a multi-layer phoswich detector comprised of LSO with different decay times and TOF capability, combines the benefits of TOF and DOI in one detector, maximizing the effective sensitivity gain.
Bibliographical Information:


School:Stockholms universitet

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Doctoral Dissertation

Keywords:MEDICINE; Physiology and pharmacology; Radiological research; Radiological physics; Positron Emission Tomography; Time of Flight; Depth of Interaction; LSO; Medical Radiation Physics; medicinsk strålningsfysik


Date of Publication:01/01/2009

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