Frequency encoding for simultaneous display of multimodality images

Mario Quarantelli, Bruno Alfano, Michele Larobina, Enrico Tedeschi, Arturo Brunetti, Eugenio M. Covelli, Andrea Ciarmiello, Ciro Mainolfi, Marco Salvatore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An original method for simultaneous display of functional and anatomic images, based on frequency encoding (FE), merges color PET with T1-weighted MR brain images, and grayscale PET with multispectral color MR images. A comparison with two other methods reported in the literature for image fusion (averaging and intensity modulation techniques) was performed. Methods: For FE, the Fourier transform of the merged image was obtained summing the low frequencies of the PET image and the high frequencies of the MR image. For image averaging, the merged image was obtained as a weighted average of the intensities of the two images to be merged. For intensity modulation, the red, green and blue components of the color image were multiplied on a pixel- by-pixel basis by the grayscale image. A comparison of the performances of the three techniques was made by three independent observers assessing the conspicuity of specific MRI and PET information in the merged images. For evaluation purposes, images from seven patients and a computer-simulated MRI/PET phantom were used. Data were compared with a chi-square test applied to ranks. Results: For the depiction of MRI and PET information when merging color PET and T1-weighted MR images, FE was rated superior to intensity modulation and averaging techniques in a significant number of comparisons. For merging grayscale PET with multispectral color MR images, FE and intensity modulation were rated superior to image averaging in terms of both MRI and PET information. Conclusion: The data suggest that improved simultaneous evaluation of MRI and PET information can be achieved with a method based on FE.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)442-447
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Nuclear Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1999


  • Brain
  • Image display
  • Image processing
  • MRI
  • PET
  • Radionuclide studies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology


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