PASCAL - Pattern Analysis, Statistical Modelling and Computational Learning

MRI-Based Attenuation Correction for PET/MRI: A Novel Approach Combining Pattern Recognition and Atlas Registration
M. Hofmann, F. Steinke, V. Scheel, G. Charpiat, J. Farquhar, P. Aschoff, M. Brady, B. Schölkopf and B.J. Pichler
Journal of Nuclear Medicine Volume 49, Number 11, pp. 1875-1883, 2008.


For quantitative PET information, correction of tissue photon attenuation is mandatory. Generally in conventional PET, the attenuation map is obtained from a transmission scan, which uses a rotating radionuclide source, or from the CT scan in a combined PET/CT scanner. In the case of PET/MRI scanners currently under development, insufficient space for the rotating source exists; the attenuation map can be calculated from the MR image instead. This task is challenging because MR intensities correlate with proton densities and tissue-relaxation properties, rather than with attenuation-related mass density. METHODS: We used a combination of local pattern recognition and atlas registration, which captures global variation of anatomy, to predict pseudo-CT images from a given MR image. These pseudo-CT images were then used for attenuation correction, as the process would be performed in a PET/CT scanner. RESULTS: For human brain scans, we show on a database of 17 MR/CT image pairs that our method reliably enables e stimation of a pseudo-CT image from the MR image alone. On additional datasets of MRI/PET/CT triplets of human brain scans, we compare MRI-based attenuation correction with CT-based correction. Our approach enables PET quantification with a mean error of 3.2% for predefined regions of interest, which we found to be clinically not significant. However, our method is not specific to brain imaging, and we show promising initial results on 1 whole-body animal dataset. CONCLUSION: This method allows reliable MRI-based attenuation correction for human brain scans. Further work is necessary to validate the method for whole-body imaging.

EPrint Type:Article
Project Keyword:Project Keyword UNSPECIFIED
Subjects:Computational, Information-Theoretic Learning with Statistics
Learning/Statistics & Optimisation
Brain Computer Interfaces
Theory & Algorithms
ID Code:4322
Deposited By:Bernhard Schölkopf
Deposited On:13 March 2009