Motion Correction and Pharmacokinetic Analysis in Dynamic Positron Emission Tomography
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This thesis will focus on two important aspects of dynamic Positron Emission Tomography (PET): (i) Motion-compensation , and (ii) Pharmacokinetic analysis (also called parametric imaging) of dynamic PET images. Both are required to enable fully quantitative PET imaging which is increasingly finding applications in the clinic. Motion-compensation in Dynamic Brain PET Imaging: Dynamic PET images are degraded by inter-frame and intra-frame motion artifacts that can a ffect the quantitative and qualitative analysis of acquired PET data. We propose a Generalized Inter-frame and Intra-frame Motion Correction (GIIMC) algorithm that uni fies in one framework the inter-frame motion correction capability of Multiple Acquisition Frames and the intra-frame motion correction feature of (MLEM)-type deconvolution methods. GIIMC employs a fairly simple but new approach of using time-weighted average of attenuation sinograms to reconstruct dynamic frames. Extensive validation studies show that GIIMC algorithm outperforms conventional techniques producing images with superior quality and quantitative accuracy. Parametric Myocardial Perfusion PET Imaging: We propose a novel framework of robust kinetic parameter estimation applied to absolute flow quantification in dynamic PET imaging. Kinetic parameter estimation is formulated as nonlinear least squares with spatial constraints problem where the spatial constraints are computed from a physiologically driven clustering of dynamic images, and used to reduce noise contamination. The proposed framework is shown to improve the quantitative accuracy of Myocardial Perfusion (MP) PET imaging, and in turn, has the long-term potential to enhance capabilities of MP PET in the detection, staging and management of coronary artery disease.