A combined time-of-flight and depth-of-interaction detector for total-body positron emission tomography

Authors


Abstract

Purpose:

In support of a project to build a total-body PET scanner with an axial field-of-view of 2 m, the authors are developing simple, cost-effective block detectors with combined time-of-flight (TOF) and depth-of-interaction (DOI) capabilities.

Methods:

This work focuses on investigating the potential of phosphor-coated crystals with conventional PMT-based block detector readout to provide DOI information while preserving timing resolution. The authors explored a variety of phosphor-coating configurations with single crystals and crystal arrays. Several pulse shape discrimination techniques were investigated, including decay time, delayed charge integration (DCI), and average signal shapes.

Results:

Pulse shape discrimination based on DCI provided the lowest DOI positioning error: 2 mm DOI positioning error was obtained with single phosphor-coated crystals while 3–3.5 mm DOI error was measured with the block detector module. Minimal timing resolution degradation was observed with single phosphor-coated crystals compared to uncoated crystals, and a timing resolution of 442 ps was obtained with phosphor-coated crystals in the block detector compared to 404 ps without phosphor coating. Flood maps showed a slight degradation in crystal resolvability with phosphor-coated crystals; however, all crystals could be resolved. Energy resolution was degraded by 3%–7% with phosphor-coated crystals compared to uncoated crystals.

Conclusions:

These results demonstrate the feasibility of obtaining TOF–DOI capabilities with simple block detector readout using phosphor-coated crystals.

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