Whole-body positron emission topography: Part I. Methods and performance characteristics.
Methods for whole-body PET imaging have been developed to provide a clinical tool for the detection and evaluation of primary and metastatic cancers. The axial FOV of the PET system is extended by imaging at multiple bed positions to cover the whole body. In typical rectilinear PET scans, only a small fraction of the data is collected to form two-dimensional projection images. In this work, 100% of the projection data was collected to form the two-dimensional projection images. These projection images were generated for continuous angles over 180 degrees by resorting sinogram data. In addition, tomographic images were formed by using filtered backprojection reconstruction without attenuation correction. Coronal and sagittal cuts were then extracted from the three-dimensional data set. The tomographic images were reconstructed to a resolution of 10.8 mm in all dimensions because of statistical limitations of the data. Both methods of image formation resulted in images of high quality with the tomographic reconstruction providing the highest contrast and resolution. An acquisition time of 1-2 min/bed position after a 10-mCi injection of [18F]fluoride ion or [18F]FDG was found to give a sufficient number of counts for producing images of good resolution and contrast, from a total scanning time of 32-64 min.