From Event: SPIE Optical Engineering + Applications, 2016
The past two decades have seen much progress in coincidence timing resolution (CTR) for time-of-flight (TOF) capable positron emission tomography (PET) systems. With these advancements, clinical TOF-PET systems have achieved sub-400 ps FWHM (full-width-at-half-maximum) CTR, providing decreased patient radiation dose, shorter scan time, improved lesion detectability, increased accuracy and precision of lesion uptake measurements, and less sensitivity to errors in data correction techniques (normalization, scatter, and attenuation corrections). An important and long-standing milestone for the TOF-PET community is 100 ps FWHM CTR. At that level of timing performance, more than a factor of five improvement in image signal-to-noise ratio is possible compared to non-TOF-PET, with the potential for a transformational impact on quantitative PET imaging. With advancements in silicon photomultiplier technologies, novel scintillation materials and signal processing techniques, sub-100 ps CTR has been reported for relatively short scintillation crystal elements (3 mm length). However, clinical PET requires scintillation crystal elements that are 20 mm length or greater to provide adequate stopping power for 511 keV photons. This increased crystal length reduces the light collection efficiency and increases the scintillation photon transit time variance, resulting in degraded CTR. Significant strides have been made in achieving sub-150 ps FWHM CTR with 20 mm length crystals in single pixel, bench top experiments. We will present perspectives on the entire detection chain, from luminescence to signal processing and time-pickoff to enable 100 ps CTR at the level of full clinically-relevant detector modules.
Joshua Cates and Craig Levin, "Realizing PET systems with 100 ps FWHM coincidence timing resolution
(Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 9969, Radiation Detectors: Systems and Applications XVII, 99690H (Presented at SPIE Optical Engineering + Applications: September 01, 2016; Published: 2 November 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2242529.5178382301001.
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