Our objective was to determine clinically the value of time-of-flight (TOF) information in reducing PET artifacts and improving PET image quality and accuracy in simultaneous TOF PET/MR scanning.Methods
A total 65 patients who underwent a comparative scan in a simultaneous TOF PET/MR scanner were included. TOF and non-TOF PET images were reconstructed, clinically examined, compared and scored. PET imaging artifacts were categorized as large or small implant-related artifacts, as dental implant-related artifacts, and as implant-unrelated artifacts. Differences in image quality, especially those related to (implant) artifacts, were assessed using a scale ranging from 0 (no artifact) to 4 (severe artifact).Results
A total of 87 image artifacts were found and evaluated. Four patients had large and eight patients small implant-related artifacts, 27 patients had dental implants/fillings, and 48 patients had implant-unrelated artifacts. The average score was 1.14 ± 0.82 for non-TOF PET images and 0.53 ± 0.66 for TOF images (p < 0.01) indicating that artifacts were less noticeable when TOF information was included.Conclusion
Our study indicates that PET image artifacts are significantly mitigated with integration of TOF information in simultaneous PET/MR. The impact is predominantly seen in patients with significant artifacts due to metal implants.
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