Positron Emission Tomography (PET) is a functional imaging modality widely used in oncology, cardiology, and neurology. It is highly sensitive, but suffers from relatively poor spatial resolution, as compared with anatomical imaging modalities, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). With the recent development of combined PET/MR systems, we can improve the PET image quality by incorporating MR information. Previously we have used kernel learning to embed MR information in static PET reconstruction and direct Patlak reconstruction. Here we extend this method to direct reconstruction of nonlinear parameters in a compartment model by using the alternating direction of multiplier method (ADMM) algorithm. Simulation studies show that the proposed method can produce superior parametric images compared with existing methods.
Dynamic PET image reconstruction is a challenging problem because of the ill-conditioned nature of PET and the lowcounting statistics resulted from short time-frames in dynamic imaging. The kernel method for image reconstruction has been developed to improve image reconstruction of low-count PET data by incorporating prior information derived from high-count composite data. In contrast to most of the existing regularization-based methods, the kernel method embeds image prior information in the forward projection model and does not require an explicit regularization term in the reconstruction formula. Inspired by the existing highly constrained back-projection (HYPR) algorithm for dynamic PET image denoising, we propose in this work a new type of kernel that is simpler to implement and further improves the kernel-based dynamic PET image reconstruction. Our evaluation study using a physical phantom scan with synthetic FDG tracer kinetics has demonstrated that the new HYPR kernel-based reconstruction can achieve a better region-of-interest (ROI) bias versus standard deviation trade-off for dynamic PET parametric imaging than the post-reconstruction HYPR denoising method and the previously used nonlocal-means kernel.
Molecular imaging using dynamic positron emission tomography (PET) can provide in vivo images of physiologically or
biochemically important parameters. Direct reconstruction of parametric images from dynamic PET sinograms is statistically
more efficient than the conventional indirect methods, which perform image reconstruction and kinetic modeling
in two separate steps. Most existing direct reconstruction methods are derived based on a known blood input function.
This paper presents a direct reconstruction algorithm using a simplified reference tissue model, which does not require a
blood input function. We have derived a minorization-maximization algorithm to find the penalized maximum likelihood
solution. Computer simulations show that the proposed method has better bias-variance tradeoff than the conventional
indirect method for estimating parametric images of receptor binding potential using dynamic PET.