Cardiac PET/CT with Rb-82: optimization of image acquisition and reconstruction parameters
The purpose of this study is to optimize the dynamic Rb-82 cardiac PET acquisition and reconstruction protocols for maximum myocardial perfusion defect detection using realistic simulation data and task-based evaluation. Time activity curves (TACs) of different organs under both rest and stress conditions were extracted from dynamic Rb-82 PET images of five normal patients. Combined SimSET-GATE Monte Carlo simulation was used to generate nearly noise-free cardiac PET data from a time series of 3D NCAT phantoms with organ activities modeling different pre-scan delay times (PDTs) and total acquisition times (TATs). Poisson noise was added to the nearly noise-free projections and the OS-EM algorithm was applied to generate noisy reconstructed images. The channelized Hotelling observer (CHO) with 32x32 spatial templates corresponding to four octave-wide frequency channels was used to evaluate the images. The area under the ROC curve (AUC) was calculated from the CHO rating data as an index for image quality in terms of myocardial perfusion defect detection. The 0.5 cycle cm(-1) Butterworth post-filtering on OS-EM (with 21 subsets) reconstructed images generates the highest AUC values while those from iteration numbers 1 to 4 do not show different AUC values. The optimized PDTs for both rest and stress conditions are found to be close to the cross points of the left ventricular chamber and myocardium TACs, which may promote an individualized PDT for patient data processing and image reconstruction. Shortening the TATs for <approximately 3 min from the clinically employed acquisition time does not affect the myocardial perfusion defect detection significantly for both rest and stress studies.