18F-FDG positron autoradiography with a particle counting silicon pixel detector

P. Russo, A. Lauria, G. Mettivier, M. C. Montesi, M. Marotta, L. Aloj, S. Lastoria

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We report on tests of a room-temperature particle counting silicon pixel detector of the Medipix2 series as the detector unit of a positron autoradiography (AR) system, for samples labelled with 18F-FDG radiopharmaceutical used in PET studies. The silicon detector (1.98 cm 2 sensitive area, 300 νm thick) has high intrinsic resolution (55 νm pitch) and works by counting all hits in a pixel above a certain energy threshold. The present work extends the detector characterization with 18F-FDG of a previous paper. We analysed the system's linearity, dynamic range, sensitivity, background count rate, noise, and its imaging performance on biological samples. Tests have been performed in the laboratory with 18F-FDG drops (37-37 000 Bq initial activity) and ex vivo in a rat injected with 88.8 MBq of 18F-FDG. Particles interacting in the detector volume produced a hit in a cluster of pixels whose mean size was 4.3 pixels/event at 11 keV threshold and 2.2 pixels/event at 37 keV threshold. Results show a sensitivity for β+ of 0.377 cps Bq-1, a dynamic range of at least five orders of magnitude and a lower detection limit of 0.0015 Bq mm-2. Real-time 18F-FDG positron AR images have been obtained in 500-1000 s exposure time of thin (10-20 νm) slices of a rat brain and compared with 20 h film autoradiography of adjacent slices. The analysis of the image contrast and signal-to-noise ratio in a rat brain slice indicated that Poisson noise-limited imaging can be approached in short (e.g. 100 s) exposures, with ∼100 Bq slice activity, and that the silicon pixel detector produced a higher image quality than film-based AR.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6227-6243
Number of pages17
JournalPhysics in Medicine and Biology
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - Nov 7 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology


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