Simulation study of a D-shape PET scanner for improved sensitivity and reduced cost in whole-body imaging.
The current positron emission tomography (PET) design is aimed toward establishing an entire-body PET scanner. An entire-body PET scanner is a scanner whose axial field of view (FOV) covers the whole body of a patient, whereas whole-body PET scanner can be of any axial FOV length, but was designed for a whole-body scan. Despite its high production cost, an entire-body depth-of-interaction PET scanner offers many benefits, such as shorter and dynamic PET time acquisition, as well as higher sensitivity and count rate performance. This PET scanner may be cost-effective for clinical PET scanners with high scan throughput. In this work, we evaluated the sensitivity and count rate performance of a 2-m-long PET scanner with conventional data acquisition (DAQ) architecture, using Monte Carlo simulation, and we evaluated two ring diameters (60 and 80 cm) to reduce the scanner cost. From simulation of scanning with a 2-m axial FOV, the sensitivity for a 2-m-long PET scanner of 60 and 80-cm diameter is around 80 and 68 times higher, respectively, than that of the conventional PET scanner. In addition, for the 2-m-long PET scanner with 60-cm diameter, the peak noise equivalent count rate (NECR) was 843 kcps at 125 MBq, whereas the peak for the 80-cm diameter was 989 kcps at 200 MBq. This shows gains of 15.3 and 17.95, respectively, in comparison with that of the conventional PET scanner. The 2-m-long PET scanner with 60-cm ring diameter could not only reduce the number of detectors by 21 %, but also had a 17 % higher sensitivity compared to that with an 80-cm ring diameter. On the other hand, despite the higher sensitivity, the NECR of the 60-cm ring diameter was smaller than that of the 80-cm ring diameter. This results from the single data loss due to dead time, whereas grouping of axially stacked detectors was used in the conventional DAQ architecture. Parallelization of the DAQ architecture is therefore important for the 2-m-long PET scanner to achieve its optimal performance.