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1062 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON NUCLEAR SCIENCE, VOL. 46, NO.

4, AUGUST 1999

Influence of Malfunctioning Block Detectors on the Calculation of Single Detector


Efficiencies in PET
N.C. Ferreira'.', R. Trbbossen', M.-C. Grigoire' and B. Bendriem', Member, ZEEE
'Service Hospitalier Fr6dCric Joliot, 4, Place du G6nBral Leclerc, 9 1406 Orsay, France
'Servipo de Biofisica, Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de Coimbra, 3000 Coimbra, Portugal
'CTI PET Systems, Inc., 810 Innovation Drive, Knoxville, Tennessee 37932

Abstract axially symmetric activity source equally illuminates all the


crystals in a ring. They assume that the efficiency of a line of
In this work, we studied the artifacts generated by the
response (LOR), connecting two crystals i and j with
application of methods of crystal efficiency calculation based
on the fan-sum, to situations of high variability of efficiency, efficiencies E ; and cj respectively, is given by E~ = E ; E ~ .
namely the cases of a ring with defective blocks and These efficiencies are used in component-based methods of
acquisitions using narrow energy windows. We propose two normalization [7], which model the normalization factor of a
efficiency calculation methods to reduce these artifacts: one LOR as the product of its efficiency by geometrical and dead
method discriminates the crystals with an efficiency very time factors, which can be measured and calculated
different from the average, and then uses a modification of the independently.
fan-sum to estimate the efficiency; the other method calculates After correcting for geometrical effects, a sinogram where
iteratively the fan-sum of each crystal, weighted by the each LOR is acquired separately is used to calculate the
efficiencies of the opposed detectors. The effect of using an crystal efficiencies in a ring. In this sinogram, the number of
off-center uniform cylinder is also discussed, since it coincidences registered between crystals i and j , Cij, is the
influences the performance of the algorithms. product between the LOR efficiency and the number of
The proposed algorithms are compared with the more coincidences that should actually be detected in the LOR, Aj :
conventional fan-sum method and with an algorithm used in a
commercial tomograph, using measurements and simulations. cu= E i e j A j . (1)
The results show a significant reduction of the efficiency 4, is proportional to the integral of the activity along the
estimation errors, in severe situations where detectors in a ring LOR and includes the scattered coincidences detected by the
have very different detection efficiency. two crystals.

I. INTRODUCTION A. Thefan-sum approximation


The raw data acquired during a PET scan must be The single-ring fan-sum method [2] is the basis of many
compensated for the non-uniform detection of events over the crystal efficiency calculation methods implemented in current
field-of-view (FOV). This variability is generated by the tomographs. An estimation of the efficiency of crystal i, ti is
differences of the various detection components and the obtained by calculating its fan-sum, C f 0 , ; ,equal to the total
geometry and organization of the detection system. The counts of the fan of LORs where this crystal participates,
technology of block detectors results in crystals with variable connecting detectors of the same ring:
geometry, different light guiding characteristics and different
light collection by the photomultipliers. The repetition of
ti = Cfi,"(= p i j . (2)
jsfun i
detection blocks in the ring leads to periodic and systematic
efficiency variations in the scanner. The position of crystals
Once all the ti are known, they are normalized so that the
average is 1.
along a ring has an impact on the angles of radiation
incidence, on light penetration and on the radial sampling The fan-sum also depends on the efficiencies of the other
distance. Variations of operating conditions, such as tension crystals in the fan. From (l),
and temperature, can also be responsible for efficiency
Cij = e i Z c j A i j ,
variations [l]. The variability of the crystal efficiencies may ,sfan, ,e f". I
be very large in certain specific situations, such as acquisitions
with narrow energy windows, used by some scatter correction and thus the following approximation is made:
methods based on the energy of the photons, or acquisitions (4)
with defective detection elements. These large variations ZEj Aij e constant.
jcfm 8
affect the performance of several efficiency correction
methods. This is usually a reasonable approximation, if many
crystals view the cylinder in coincidence with crystal i and if
The crystal efficiency calculation methods [2-61 compare
there are no significant variations of efficiency in the ring.
the number of coincidences recorded by each crystal when a

0018-9499/99%10.00 0 1999 IEEE


1063

factors in (4) and thus of the fan-sums, as shown in Figure la.


The reconstruction of sinograms corrected with the fan-sum
method produces artifacts, such as those represented in Figure
1 b for an uniform cylinder.
Previous studies include corrections for this effect [4, 81.
Chesler et a1 divide the fan-sum of a given crystal by the
width of the fan of crystals that view the cylinder in
coincidence with this crystal (“fan-width”), The method
proposed by Chatziiouannou divides the efficiencies by
factors derived directly from the knowledge of the phantom
displacement from the center and the radius of the detection
ring (Figure la).

’i
1.2
C. Statement of the problem
1 .o
The fan-sum approximation is not valid when there are
0.8
large fluctuations in crystal efficiencies (Figure 2). This
0.6 situation occurs more frequently if narrow energy windows
0.4
are used.
;g
Y 0.2
If, for example, a crystal or a detector block belonging to a
crystal fan has an efficiency much higher (lower) than the
0.0
average, then the summation in (4) is also higher (lower) than
-0.2 . , , .I . . . , I . , . , i average and the efficiency given by (2) is overestimated
0 50 ioa 150
X ProfilesOFTOSS c e n t e r of cylinder (underestimated). These errors in the estimated efficiencies
directly propagate to all the sinograms corrected using these
Figure 1 - a) The effect of different offsets of a uniform cylinder efficiencies, and may also influence the performance of
from the center of the FOV, on the efficiencies calculated using the
scatter correction, generating artifacts and quantitation errors
fan-sum method, in an ECAT EXACT HR+. The correct efficiencies
are all equal to 1. In the offset correction method by Chatziiouannou, in the reconstructed images.
the obtained efficiencies are divided by the function corresponding to Methods have been proposed to avoid the use of
the offset of the phantom. b) Profiles across the center of a uniform approximation (4) [4-6,9-10]. However, only the method by
cylinder, reconstructed from data corrected with the fan-sum method Chesler et a1 can be directly applied with an uniform cylinder,
and no correction for offset. The artifacts increase with the offset the others requiring sinograms with equally illuminated
from the center. LORs. Moreover, the accuracy of this method is limited when
there is a strong asymmetry of efficiency in the ring.

D. Contributions of this work


We investigate the effects of using approximation (4) to
compute the crystal efficiencies, when data from a axially
symmetric source (uniform cylinder) is used. We propose two
new methods, extending the original fan-sum method by
Hoffman, to adequately calculate the crystal efficiencies in a
Figure 2 - The fan-sum method in a case of non-uniform ring, when this approximation is not valid. Compensations for
efficiency along a detector ring. All crystals in the ring have the possible displacements of the phantom from the center are
same efficiency, except those in block A. The total counts in the also applied. We compare their performance with the fan-sum
fans of crystals B and C are different, because the efficiency of the method, since it is the basis of most efficiency calculation
LORs between C and A is not the same as the corresponding LORs methods used in commercial PET tomographs, and with the
in fan B. The fan-sum method thus estimates different efficiencies efficiencies calculated using the following expression:
for B and C, although the two crystals have the same efficiency.
,E fun I
B. Effect of an off-center phantom This expression is used by the algorithm that calculates the
The use of a uniform cylinder displaced from the center crystal efficiencies of the ECAT EXACT HR+ (CTI PET
may cause systematic errors in the efficiencies calculated with Systems, Knoxville, TN). It is a weighted version of the sum
the fan-sum, because the number of LORs belonging to a fan in (2), modified to take into account the efficiency of the
and passing through the cylinder is not the same for all the crystals that belong to the fan of crystal i. Crystals that have a
detectors. This implies a systematic variation of the A,, high number of counts in the corresponding fans contribute
more to this “weighted fan-sum” than those with lower counts.
1064

11. THEORY
Let us consider a single detector ring containing N crystals
with efficiencies ci (i=O,l, ...,N-1). Each block contributes Coincidenceswith

with M crystals to the ring (N/M blocks per ring).


In all methods described in this paper we will assume that,
as a last step, the calculated efficiencies are divided by their
mean. This last step is omitted in their description. Let us first
consider that the phantom is well centered in the FOV. If not,
Fan of crystal C Average fan
we used the corrections described in section IIC.
Figure 3 - The crystal discrimination method, for the same
A. Method 1: Crystal Discrimination situation as that of Figure 2. Crystals in block A are discriminated as
“bad” and do not contribute to the calculation of an “average fan”,
This method calculates* as a first step, the fan-sum Of each obtained from the fans of all crystals in the same position in a block.
crystal in a ring. The crystals are then grouped according to The efficiency of crystal C is given by the total counts in the non-
their position in the block, thus forming groups (crystal i discriminated LORs of fan C (gray area in the fan of C),multiplied
belongs to the group g = i modulo M). For each group g, we by the ratio between the average fan-sum (total area under the
compute the mean, rn, , and the standard deviation, (T.,of the average fan) and the corresponding non-discriminated LORs in the
fan-sums of the crystals in the group, and compare each average fan (gray area in the average fan). The same applies to
individual fan-sum, c,,,;, with r n K , using the following crystal B, but since no crystals are discriminated in this case, its
efficiency is equal to the fan-sum.
relation:

If this relation is true, then the crystal i will be considered


as “bad”. In order to discriminate only crystals with responses and since the efficiencies will be normalized so that the mean
very different from the average, we used k=3. The separation efficiency is 1, the constant factor 1/A can be removed. The
of crystals in groups is necessary to remove the systematic resulting expression is suitable to be solved by iteration,
variation of efficiency in the block from (T, .
For each crystal group, an “average” fan of LORs, f-, , is
calculated, using only LORs connecting two “good” crystals where k represents the iteration number.
(is., crystals not considered ”bad”). This method thus uses a preliminary estimation of crystal
An estimation of the efficiency of a crystal i belonging to a efficiencies (which can be given by any other efficiency
group g, 6,,, , is then calculated using this crystal’s fan-sum, calculation method) in order to produce a new and more
but using only the LORs that correspond to opposed “good” accurate estimation. If no initial estimation exists, assuming
crystals (Figure 3): i,(o) = I for any i means that this method is equivalent to the
ZiGK = f. c Cjj
jepood( fan I )
(7)
fan-sum method after the first iteration.

The scale factor f is equal to the ratio between the sum of C. Correction for cylinder offset from the center
counts of the average fan of group g and the sum of counts We propose a correction for the phantom offset different
using only the LORs corresponding to opposed “good” from the methods described above [4,8], due to the
crystals. This factor is used to compensate for the eventual particularities of the discrimination algorithm. This correction
missing LORs due to opposed “bad” crystals. is based on the synthesis of a “perfect” sinogram, i.e., a
If crystal i is “bad”, the same expression can be applied. If sinogram corresponding to the actual phantom position, but
all crystals in the fan of crystal i are “good”, this expression is with constant crystal efficiencies and perfect statistics. The
equivalent to the fan-sum. attenuation and scatter component are also included, in order
to mimic as much as possible an ideal measurement of the Ai,
B. Method 2: Iterative Method values. The phantom position is obtained by detecting the
limits of the phantom in the measured sinogram, through
In this method, we consider that all crystals view the same
smoothing and thresholding, to determine the positions of the
total activity A, since the source is axially symmetric and we
center of the phantom for each projection. These positions are
assume that it is well centered in the FOV:
then fitted to a sinusoid.
A/,,;= CA,=A, i=O,l,N-l
je/m i
To correct the efficiencies calculated with the
discrimination method, we apply this method to the perfect
Using expression (1) to substitute A , , we can write: sinogram, forcing the algorithm to use the same discriminated
crystals. This way, we obtain separately the systematic errors
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only due to the position of the phantom. The efficiencies


estimated from the real sinogram are then divided by those
obtained with the perfect sinogram, resulting in efficiency
factors without errors due to the phantom offset.
To correct the efficiencies obtained with the iterative
method, we divide these efficiencies'by the ones obtained by 0.0F
applying the fan-sum method to the perfect sinogram. This 0 200 400 600
Crystal
correction is calculated once and is applied at each iteration.

111.METHODS
We compared the two new methods of efficiency
calculation with the fan-sum and the efficiencies calculated
with expression (5) ("HR+ method"), using simulations and
data acquired experimentally on this tomograph. We used a 0 200 400 600
discrimination threshold of 3 in the discrimination method and Crystal
250 iterations in the iterative method. Figure 4 - (a) Efficiencies used in the simulations with noise and
(b) efficiencies calculated from a sinogram with real data, acquired
A. Tomograph
We used the ECAT EXACT HR+ [ l l ] , i h i c h has
i using a narrow energy window.

and a simulated sinogram of 4, values. Attenuation and


transaxial and axial FOVs of 56 cm and 15.5 cm respectively.
The basic detection module is a block of Bismuth Germanate scatter was incorporated in 4, by calculating the expression:
(BGO) cut into an array of 8x8 crystals (4.05~4.39~30 mm A,, = U,l. Aft,, + S,, (12)
each) and coupled to 4 cylindrical photomultipliers. The
detection system is composed of 32 rings of crystals (4 rings where U,, , Aft,, and S, are sinograms of the unattenuated
of blocks) of 82.7 cm in diameter, each containing 576 activity distribution, the attenuation factors and the scatter
crystals (72 blocks). Each crystal accepts coincidences with all component, respectively.
crystals in the opposite half-rings. U, was produced by forward projecting an image of a 20
cm in diameter circle with a constant value of 1 inside. Using
B. Data simulation the same process, but with a constant value of attenuation
Sets of 576 crystal efficiencies were created, using the coefficient p=O.1 cm" inside the circle, a sinogram with the
following expression to simulate the efficiency of a crystal i in integral of the attenuation coefficients along each LOR was
a ring of the ECAT EXACT HR+:
'stq = (l+E~ysik+ ' , ~ ~ , r u n d ) X ( l + ' b / k b , r u n d ) . (11)
I
obtained, M,, = p ( x ) d x . The attenuation factors Aq,
LOR 81
were then equal to exp(-M,). Scatter was simulated by
In this expression, b = i/ M is the index of the detector block
convolving each projection of the sinogram U,,.Aff,, with a
and k = i mod M is the position of the crystal in the block.
E , , ~ represents the systematic efficiency variation withia a
scatter kernel previously obtained from the profile of a line
source at the center of a water cylinder of 20 cm in diameter.
block and was modeled by a,,.sin(k2n/M -n/2) . The
factors E,,,,and ( E,~,,,,,~~), representing random fluctuations
C. Simulation of the effect of a defective block
in block (crystal) efficiencies, were random numbers normally
distributed, with a mean of 0 and a standard deviation ablk,,und To better understand the effect of a defective block of
( arq3,,and), attributed to every block (crystal) in the ring. The detectors on the performance of the algorithms, a simulation
was made with the same efficiencies for all detectors except
constant asyrr controls the amplitude of the systematic
for one block, which had twice the efficiency. Statistical
efficiency variation in a block, while ab8,and ( acqs,,and ) noise, displacements of the phantom from the center,
describes the amplitude of the random block (crystal) attenuation and scatter were not simulated in this case.
efficiency fluctuations. Their values were chosen so that the
simulated efficiencies were visually close to situations D. Simulation of experimental situations
observed experimentally (example in Figure 4). The
efficiency of block 11 was doubled, to simulate a defective The crystal efficiencies simulated are shown in Figure 4a
block, and all efficiencies were normalized to a mean of 1 and were obtained using (1 1) with asyrr =0.3, ab/k,rwd =0.1 and
adel,,,,.d =0.1. The following situations were analyzed: 1) five
afterwards.
positions of the phantom, corresponding to an offset from the
From each set of efficiencies, a 288x288 sinogram with center of 0, 0.5, 1, 2 and 5 cm, and 2) five different noise
the true LOR efficiencies was created, using expression (1)
situations (Poisson noise was used): perfect statistics,
1066

l00.000€'" ' I ' " ' I " ' ' 1 ' ~ ' ' I ' " '3 "t j
i 6
5
iE io.000

0 200 400 600


Crystal

0.0011 I . . . , . . , , I , , .. ' . . . . I . . , . I
0 50 100 150 200 250
Iteration number

Figure 5 - Evolution of the crystal efficiency errors with the


iteration number of the iterative method.
0 200 400 600
Crystal
1000000, 500000, 200000 and 100000 total counts per
n.?L . ,
sinogram, corresponding to 3472, 1736, 694 and 347 counts
.L

D sc r mtnat cr
per crystal fan. The number of counts usually used in the
ECAT EXACT HR+ for crystal efficiency calculation is
approximately 500000 per sinogram.
The discrimination and iterative methods were applied to
all sinograms. The simulated sinogram was used as the
0 200 400 600
perfect sinogram in the off-center correction. The fan-sum Crystal
and HR+ methods were applied only to the sinograms of the
Figure 6 - a) Efficiencies calculated with the fan-sum and HR+
centered phantom.
methods, compared with the simulated efficiencies. No random
variations were simulated in this case, to simplify the interpretation.
E. Data acquisition An offset was added to each curve to facilitate the visualization. The
The measurements were performed without septa in the curves obtained with the discrimination and iterative methods were
ECAT EXACT HR+, using a 20 cm diameter uniform virtually superimposable on the simulated curve. Figures b) and c)
cylinder containing 25 MBq of %e. The standard energy show the corresponding efficiency errors, showp as a percentage of
the correct efficiencies: b) HR+ and fan-sum methods; c)
window (350-650 keV) and several narrow energy windows
discrimination and iterative methods. Note the different scale in (b)
were used. Each LOR was registered separately in the and (c).
sinogram. Only the sinograms containing LORs that join
crystals in the same ring were used for the efficiency
calculation. IV. RESULTS
F. Data analysis
A. Convergence of the iterative algorithm
In the simulations, we computed the absolute error in
Figure 5 shows the evolution of the average and maximum
efficiency for each crystal, as a percentage of the true
efficiency, 1 0 0 ~ ~ e , , , ~ -E,~, ,~I
I E ~ ~and
~ used
, ~ ,their mean and
efficiency errors with iteration number, corresponding to the
results presented in Figures 6, 7 and 8. The 250 iterations took
maximum values to compare the various algorithms and to
50 seconds on a Sun UltraSPARC 1. After 10 iterations the
assess the convergence of the iterative algorithm.
average error was less than 1.3% and after 180 iterations it
To evaluate the magnitude and the distribution of the was less than 0.01 %. The errors decreased exponentially
quantification errors in the sinogram, we calculated the ratio between these iteration numbers. The same general behavior
between the efficiency correction factors obtained by each was observed for the other situations simulated.
algorithm and the ideal factors. In the reconstructed images,
the difference between the images corrected for efficiency and B. Simulation of the effect of a defective block
the real simulated image is presented.
Figure 6 shows the efficiencies and corresponding relative
The measured sinograms of the uniform cylinder were errors calculated by each of the 4 methods tested. The method
corrected for geometrical factors, before using each efficiency used in the HR+ presents errors of larger magnitude, 6.9% on
calculation method. We evaluated the uniformity of the average and reaching a maximum of 27.9% in the simulated
corresponding sinograms corrected for efficiency by situation. The fan-sum method has smaller errors, but still
computing the mean and variance, both of the total counts per reaching an average of 2.3% and a maximum of 10.2%. The
angle of projection and of the number of counts at each radial errors observed with the discrimination (iterative) methods
position.
1067

tended to zero: the mean error was 0.1%(0.0%) and the the sinograms are shown in Figure 7, as a percentage of the
maximum was 0.2%(0.0%). correct factors, for each method. The differences between the
The shape of the errors in the HR+ and fan-sum methods corresponding reconstructed images and the image
follows the shape of the activity seen by the crystals, with reconstructed with the ideal factors are shown in Figure 8.
maximum amplitude for the crystals directly opposing the
defective block. The HR+ method also presents errors in the C. Simulation of experimental situations
zone of the defective block. The results are shown on Table 1, for different statistic
The errors in the efficiency correction factors applied to levels. The HR+ method has the highest errors, which increase
only slightly with the decrease of the number of counts in the
HR+ Method sinogram. The iterative method has an error of 0.0 with no
156 33 30
noise, but the errors increase faster with the decrease of the
216 21 69 number of counts. These errors are slightly smaller than the
-;144 IOOY
standard deviations of the counts in the fan, as given by the
Poisson distribution: these are 1.7%, 2.4%, 3.8% and 5.4%,
1 52
72
for the sinograms with 1000000,500000,200000 and 100000
0 L ] - 1 3 I2 counts, respectively. The errors were larger than these values
0 72 li4 213 246
Rod 01 tn for all the other methods.
In the simulations made with different phantom offsets, the
average and maximum errors of the discrimination and
iterative methods remained the same, for all noise levels.

D.Application to experimental data


Figure 9a shows a sinogram obtained with a well centered
0 72 1L4 I16 248. phantom and with the standard energy window (350-650
H,d#d t,"
keV), containing 1.3 million counts. A block with an
Figure 7 - Errors in the sinogram efficiency correction factors for efficiency very different from the average is visible (oblique
each method, shown as percentage of the true (correct) factors. The stripe). The ratios of the variance/mean of the total counts per
oblique dark stripe in the HR+ and fan-sum methods correspond to angle of projection, in the sinograms corrected for efficiency
errors in the estimation of the efficiencies of the crystals directly
(figs. 9b and 9c), were 11.6, 3.9, 2.8 and 1.6 for the HR+, fan-
opposed to the defective block. In the HR+ method, the crystals in the
vicinity of the defective block also present errors with variable sum, discrimination and iterative methods, respectively. For
amplitude (lighter stripe intersecting the dark stripe), as seen also in the same sinograms, the ratio between the sum of the
Figure 6b. Note the different limits of the gray scale used. variances, calculated for all angles at each radial position, and
the sum of the corresponding means was 1.54, 1.46, 1.45 and
1.44, for the same methods, respectively.
Results obtained in other acquisitions, with various
degrees of efficiency variability, consistently showed the
greatest variance in the HR+ method and the smallest in the
iterative method. The discrimination method also had smaller
variance than the fan-sum method. The discrepancy between
the methods diminished in sinograms with more uniform
crystal efficiencies.

V. DISCUSSION
The iterative method is the most accurate of the methods
compared, tending to the exact solution in the simulations
made without noise. It is also fast and simple to implement.
The discrimination method is more robust than the fan-
C 32 61 56 126 0 32 61 96 128
sum, yielding better results when the efficiency is very
variable and tending to the fan-sum as the efficiency becomes
Figure 8 - Difference between the image obtained from the
reconstruction of the sinograms corrected with each method, and the more homogeneous and less crystals are discriminated.
true simulated image. The true image is a uniform cylinder with a value Although not as exact as the iterative method, it has the
of 1 in the interior and 0 in the exterior. Note the different limits of the advantage of being less sensitive to errors in the determination
gray scale used. of the displacement of the phantom from the center.
1068

Table 1 Average and maximum absolute errors, in percentage of the true efficiencies, for
~

the various efficiency calculation methods, as a function of the number of counts in the
sinogram. The efficiencies simulated are represented in Figure 4.
Average (maximum) absolute error, in percentage of the true efficiencies
Method Total counts in sinogram
Infinite 1000000 500000 200000 100000
HR+ 10.0 (27.8) 10.1 (32.7) 10.1 (30.1) 10.4 (37.3) 10.9 (47.2)
Fan-sum 4.2 (9.2) 4.3 (13.2) 4.4 (14.5) 4.9 (15.8) 5.8 (22.2)
Discrimination 3.6 (9.4) 3.7 (11.7) 3.9 (16.1) 4.5 (16.3) 5.5 (20.5)
Iterative 0.0 (0.0) 1.6 (8.0) 2.2 (8.3) 3.3 (14.7) 4.6 (21.0)

the error distributions due to the 8 crystals in the defective


A. Convergence of the iterative algorithm block, each slightly displaced by an offset of one crystal. The
No attempt to prove or to accelerate the convergence of other crystals also contribute to the error distribution, resulting
the iterative algorithm was made here. If off-center correction in the modulating block pattern, since their efficiencies are
is not applied, the errors due to the displacement of the periodic and not very different from the average.
phantom from the center are amplified at each iteration. This The errors in the discrimination method are larger than
poses a limit on the number of iterations that can be done, those obtained with the iterative method, because the average
since the off-center correction applied has a limited accuracy. fan-sums calculated for each group of detectors are not
However, we should note that the number of iterations exactly equal. This is due to the systematic efficiency
necessary to reach the final solution decreases with the count variation in the block, which explains the shape of the error
statistics, because the final result is also less accurate and pattern in Figure 6c. The iteration method compensates these
closer to the start efficiencies (Table 1). It is thus likely that variations and does not present this effect (the residual errors
the small errors induced by the off-center correction only are due to the limited precision used in the calculations).
become significant after a good solution has been found.
The reconstructed images in Figure 8 show, for the HR+
Moreover, since the ratio of the variancehean of the total and fan-sum methods, the result of the overestimation of the
counts per angle of projection of the corrected sinogram gives efficiency of the crystals directly opposite to the defective
an indication of the accuracy of the estimated efficiency block (also of the near ones for the HR+ method). The fans of
factors, it provides a criterion that can be used to these crystals have less counts in the corrected sinogram than
automatically stop the algorithm. This ratio should be as small they should, and the image has thus a smaller contribution
as possible, because all the projections of a sinogram from these angles.
corrected with the true efficiencies should have approximately
the same number of counts. C. General remarks
When the algorithm is applied to real data, we currently It is not possible to simulate all the variety of situations
calculate this ratio after each iteration. If the ratio has not that can occur in a ring with non-homogeneous efficiency.
decreased in the last N iterations performed (N=5), the Nevertheless, the conditions simulated in this work show that
algorithm is stopped and the efficiencies corresponding to the the presence of crystals or blocks with efficiency very
iteration with the minimum variancehean ratio are chosen to different from the average may affect significantly the
correct the sinogram. quantification of activity in specific areas of an image, if not
taken correctly into account by the efficiency calculation
B. Simulation of the effect of a defective block algorithms. Although the large errors in the estimated
The amplitude of the efficiency errors in the fan-sum efficiencies did not correspond necessarily to large errors in
method is the sum of the errors caused by each crystal, which the reconstructed images of the uniform cylinder, it is possible
are proportional to the difference between the crystal that in particular zones of images with other activity and
efficiency and the average and reflects the shape of the attenuation distributions this effect will be more noticeable.
viewed activity with an offset equal to half the number of The crystal discrimination method is not exact, because the
crystals in the ring. If all LORs were equally illuminated, the discrimination between “good” and “bad” crystals is arbitrary.
amplitude of the error provoked by a variation of efficiency In fact, any small deviation from the average efficiency causes
AE in a crystal would be A&/288 on the opposing 288 the same effects as a “bad” crystal, only of smaller
crystals in coincidence. However, since the LORs are not magnitude. Lowering the discrimination level allows for a
equally illuminated, the errors in the opposing crystals are finer compensation of efficiency variations, but at the cost of
weighted by the activity viewed in each LOR. The shape of the efficiency being estimated from a smaller number of
the curve in Figure 6b thus results essentially from the sum of (“good”) LORs.
i4
Figure 9 - (a) Expcrinicntelly ncquirctl sinogrmn, iisctl to calculate crystal elficicncics, prcscnting a defective hlock (tlaik uhliqiic stripc).
The same sinogniin, after correction for clllcicncy osing (h) the HI<+ incthotl and ( c ) the iterative method. 'l'hc sinogram corrcctctl with the
itcralivc method presents the hest uiiilorniity (note the change i n the color scale relative to thc uncorrected sinograni).

Although the implciiicntations prcscntctl lierc only [41 D.A. Chcslcr, C.W. Stearns, "Calihration of detector
consider the case of ii ring of crystals, thcy can in principle bc sensitivity in positron cameras", IEEE Ti.ans Nucl Sei,
applied to ohliquc sinograins (Ixtwccn any 2 different rings), vol. 37, no. 2, pp, 768-772, 1990
as long 21s the apPr('xiiiiatioii of the synnnctry of the SOLI~CC 151 12, ~ermallseli, T,J, spil1ks, l , , ~ ~ Calliici,
,, *,A,
reniains valid. We intend to cxtcnd these mcthotls to full 311 Iaiinicrtsma, "Calculation of dctcctor clficicncics and
acquisitions, which would rctlucc the acquisition tinic o f the cxtension of the norinalization sinogram in 1'
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161 1C.D. Badawi, M A . Lodgc, P.K. Marsdcn, "Algorithnis for
calculating detector cflicicncy normalization coellicicnts
VI. CONCLUS~ONS for triic coincidcnccs in 3D 1'1 , Phys Mcd B i d , 43, pp.
The new incthocls dcscribctl arc practical ways o l 189-205, 1998
calculating crystal efficiencies lrom unilorm cylinder data, 17 I M.E. Cascy, H. Gadagkar, 11. Newport, "A coinponent
with increased accuracy iii ii larger range ol' acquisition I~ascdmcttiod for norinalizatioii in voluinc l'I<T'', Proc.
conditions than the 1':ui-surri mcthotl and tlic tncthod cnrrcntly 3rd Intcrnational Meeting on Fully llircc-l)iiiicnsional
iisctl in the I l C h l ' ICXACT HR+. Image Reconstruction in Radiology and Nuclear
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VII. ACKNOWLEIXMENTS 1x1 A.-X. Cliatziioannou, "Mcasnrcnienls and calculations
We thank Mike Cascy and C~harlcsWatson for access to towuds quantitative whole body 1'El' imaging", PhD
the ECAT EXACT HR+ norinalimtion so~ircccode and for Thesis, University of California, L o s Angclos, 1996
hclpliil discussions. 191 M.17,. Cascy, E.J. Hoflinan, "Quaiititation i n Positron
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'l'ccnologia (Prograina Praxis XXI, Portugal) and by AKS- rcdnce noise in mklcntal coincidence niciisnrcincnts and
Ccntro (l'ortllgal). coincidence efficiency calibration", Journal of Coniputcd
Let1 l'oinograpliy, vol. 1 0 , no. 5, pIi. 845-850, 1986

1101 M. Dcfrisc, D.W. l'ownscntl, D. Bailey, A . Gcissbnlilcr,


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