Lesion detectability and quantification in PET/CT oncological studies by Monte Carlo simulations

I. Castiglioni, G. Rizzo, M. C. Gilardi, V. Bettinardi, A. Savi, F. Fazio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of this work was to assess lesion detectability and quantification in whole body oncological 18F-FDG studies performed by a state-of-the-art integrated Positron Emission Tomograph/computed tomography (PET/CT) system. Lesion detectability and quantification were assessed by a Monte Carlo (MC) simulation approach as a function of different physical factors (e.g., attenuation and scatter), image counting statistics, lesion size and position, lesion-to-background radioactivity concentration ratio (L/B), and reconstruction algorithms. The results of this work brought to a number of conclusions. The MC code PET-electron gamma shower (EGS) was accurate in simulating the physical response of the considered PET/CT scanner (>90%). PET-EGS and patient-derived phantoms can be used in simulating18 F-FDG PET oncological studies. Counting statistics is a dominant factor in lesion detectability. Correction for scatter (from both inside and outside the field of view) is needed to improve lesion detectability. Iterative reconstruction and attenuation correction must be used to interpret clinical images. Re-binning algorithms are appropriate for whole-body on-cological data. A MC-based method for correction of partial volume effect is feasible. For the considered PET/CT system, limits in lesion detectability were determined in situations comparable to those of real oncological studies: at a L/B = 3 for lesions of 12 mm diameter and at a L/B = 4 for lesions of 8 mm diameter.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)136-142
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE Transactions on Nuclear Science
Issue number1 I
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2005


  • Lesion detectability
  • Monte Carlo
  • PET/CT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Lesion detectability and quantification in PET/CT oncological studies by Monte Carlo simulations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this