Document Type



Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor's Name

Anthony J. Mcgoron

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Wei-Chiang Lin

Third Advisor's Name

Giri Narasimhan

Fourth Advisor's Name

Malek Adjouadi

Fifth Advisor's Name

Juan M. Franquiz


Medical Imaging, Lung Cancer, Respiratory Gating, Nuclear Medicine

Date of Defense



Respiratory gating in lung PET imaging to compensate for respiratory motion artifacts is a current research issue with broad potential impact on quantitation, diagnosis and clinical management of lung tumors. However, PET images collected at discrete bins can be significantly affected by noise as there are lower activity counts in each gated bin unless the total PET acquisition time is prolonged, so that gating methods should be combined with imaging-based motion correction and registration methods. The aim of this study was to develop and validate a fast and practical solution to the problem of respiratory motion for the detection and accurate quantitation of lung tumors in PET images. This included: (1) developing a computer-assisted algorithm for PET/CT images that automatically segments lung regions in CT images, identifies and localizes lung tumors of PET images; (2) developing and comparing different registration algorithms which processes all the information within the entire respiratory cycle and integrate all the tumor in different gated bins into a single reference bin. Four registration/integration algorithms: Centroid Based, Intensity Based, Rigid Body and Optical Flow registration were compared as well as two registration schemes: Direct Scheme and Successive Scheme. Validation was demonstrated by conducting experiments with the computerized 4D NCAT phantom and with a dynamic lung-chest phantom imaged using a GE PET/CT System. Iterations were conducted on different size simulated tumors and different noise levels. Static tumors without respiratory motion were used as gold standard; quantitative results were compared with respect to tumor activity concentration, cross-correlation coefficient, relative noise level and computation time. Comparing the results of the tumors before and after correction, the tumor activity values and tumor volumes were closer to the static tumors (gold standard). Higher correlation values and lower noise were also achieved after applying the correction algorithms. With this method the compromise between short PET scan time and reduced image noise can be achieved, while quantification and clinical analysis become fast and precise.





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