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PET System to Reduce Random and Scatter Coincidences

For small animal positron emission tomography (PET) research using high radioactivity, such as dynamic studies, the resulting high random coincidence rate of the system degrades image quality. The random coincidence rate is increased not only by the gamma photons from inside the axial-field-of-view (axial-FOV) of the PET system but also by those from outside the axial-FOV. For brain imaging in small animal studies, significant interference is observed from gamma photons emitted from the body. Single gamma photons from the body enter the axial-FOV and increase the random and scatter coincidences. Shielding against the gamma photons from outside the axial-FOV would improve the imagequality. For this purpose, we developed a body shield for a small animal PET system, the microPET Primate 4-ring system, and evaluated its performance. The body shield is made of 9-mm-thick lead and it surrounds most of a rat’s body. We evaluated the effectiveness of the body shield using a head phantom and a body phantom with a radioactivity concentration ratio of 1:2 and a maximum total activity of approximately 250 MBq.

The random coincidence rate was dramatically decreased to ~1/10, and the noise equivalent count rate (NECR) was increased ~6 times with an activity of 7 MBq in the head phantom. The true count rate was increased to ~35% due to the decrease in system deadtime. The average scatter fraction was decreased to 1/2.5 with the body shield. Count rate measurements of rat were also conducted with an injection activity of approximately 25 MBq of [C-11]N,N-dimethyl-2-(2-amino-4-cyanophenylthio) benzylamine ([C-11]DASB) and approximately 70 and 310 MBq of 2-deoxy-2-(F-18)fluoro-D-glucose ([F-18]FDG). Using the body shield, [F-18]FDG images of rats were improved by increasing the amount of radioactivity injected. The body shield designed for small animal PET systems is a promising tool for improving imagequality and quantitation accuracy in sm- ll animal molecular imagingresearch.

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