The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center UTHealth Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)
Date of Graduation
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Richard Wendt III, Ph.D.
Jim Bankson, Ph.D.
Michele Guindani, Ph.D.
Yiping Shao, Ph.D.
Jason Stafford, Ph.D.
Hybrid positron emission tomography imaging techniques such as PET/CT and PET/MR have undergone significant developments over the last two decades and have played increasingly more important roles both in research and in the clinic. A unique advantage PET has over other clinical imaging modalities is its capability of accurate quantification. However, as the most critical component of PET quantification, attenuation correction in hybrid PET systems is challenged in several different aspects, including the spatial- temporal mismatch between the PET emission images and the associated attenuation images provided by the complementary modality, and the difficulty in bone identification in the MR-based attenuation correction approaches. These problems, if left unaddressed, can limit the potential of the hybrid PET systems.
This research developed solutions to overcome the spatial-temporal mismatch in PET/CT and PET/MR, and established the requirements for bone identification in PET/MR. An automatic registration algorithm based on a modified fuzzy c-means clustering method and gradient correlation was developed and validated to perform automatic registration in cardiac PET/CT data of different breathing protocols. A free- breathing MR protocol and post-process algorithm were developed to provide MR-based attenuation images that also match the temporal resolution of PET and were evaluated in a feasibility study. The relationship between the sensitivity of bone identification in attenuation images and PET quantification of bone lesions uptake was evaluated in a simulated study using data from 18F-sodium fluoride PET/CT exams.
PET, PET/CT, PET/MR, attenuation correction, automatic registration, average CT, average MR, MR-based attenuation correction