A maximum likelihood (ML) partial volume effect correction (PVEC) strategy for the quantification of uptake and volume of oncological lesions in F 18 -FDG positron emission tomography is proposed. The algorithm is based on the application of ML reconstruction on volumetric regional basis functions initially defined on a smooth standard clinical image and iteratively updated in terms of their activity and volume. The volume of interest (VOI) containing a previously detected region is segmented by a k -means algorithm in three regions: A central region surrounded by a partial volume region and a spill-out region. All volume outside the VOI (background with all other structures) is handled as a unique basis function and therefore "frozen" in the reconstruction process except for a gain coefficient. The coefficients of the regional basis functions are iteratively estimated with an attenuation-weighted ordered subset expectation maximization (AWOSEM) algorithm in which a 3D, anisotropic, space variant model of point spread function (PSF) is included for resolution recovery. The reconstruction-segmentation process is iterated until convergence; at each iteration, segmentation is performed on the reconstructed image blurred by the system PSF in order to update the partial volume and spill-out regions. The developed PVEC strategy was tested on sphere phantom studies with activity contrasts of 7.5 and 4 and compared to a conventional recovery coefficient method. Improved volume and activity estimates were obtained with low computational costs, thanks to blur recovery and to a better local approximation to ML convergence.
- Maximum likelihood reconstruction
- Partial volume effect correction
- Regional basis functions
- Uptake quantification
- Volume estimate
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging