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Inhomogeneous Positron Range Effects in High Magnetic Fields might Cause Severe Artefacts in PET/MRI


Hofmann,  M
Department Empirical Inference, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Kolb, A., Hofmann, M., Sauter A, Liu C-C, Eriksson, L., & Pichler, B. (2010). Inhomogeneous Positron Range Effects in High Magnetic Fields might Cause Severe Artefacts in PET/MRI. Poster presented at 2010 World Molecular Imaging Congress (WMIC 2010), Kyoto, Japan.

The combination of PET and MRI is an emerging field of current research. It is known that the positron range is shortened in high magnetic fields (MF), leading to an improved resolution in PET images. Interestingly, only the fraction of positron range (PR) orthogonal to the MF is reduced and the fraction along the MF is not affected and yields to a non-isotropic count distribution. We measured the PR effect with PET isotopes like F-18, Cu-64, C-11, N-13 and Ga-68. A piece of paper (1 cm2) was soaked with each isotope and placed in the cFOV of a clinical 3T BrainPET/MR scanner. A polyethylene board (PE) was placed as a positron (β+) stopper with an axial distance of 3 cm from the soaked paper. The area under the peaks of one pixel wide profiles along the z-axis in coronal images was compared. Based on these measurements we confirmed our data in organic tissue. A larynx/trachea and lung of a butchered swine were injected with a mixture of NiSO4 for T1 MRI signals and Ga-68, simulating tumor lesions in the respiratory tract. The trachea/larynx were aligned in 35° to the MF lines and a small mass lesion was inserted to imitate a primary tracheal tumor whereas the larynx was injected submucosally in the lower medial part of the epiglottis. Reconstructed PET data show that the annihilated ratio of β+ at the origin position and in the PE depends on the isotope energy and the direction of the MF. The annihilation ratios of the source and PE are 52.4/47.6 (F-18), 57.5/42.5 (Cu-64), 43.7/56.7 (C-11), 31.1/68.9 (N-13) and 14.9/85.1 (Ga-68). In the swine larynx measurement, an artefact with approximately 39 of the lesion activity formed along MF lines 3cm away from the original injected position (fig.1). The data of the trachea showed two shine artefacts with a symmetric alignment along the MF lines. About 58 of the positrons annihilated at the lesion and 21 formed each artefact. The PR effects areminor in tissue of higher or equal density to water (0.096 cm-1). However, the effect is severe in low density tissue or air and might lead to misinterpretation of clinical data.