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Gianoli, Chiara; Riboldi, Marco; Fontana, Giulia; Kurz, Christopher; Parodi, Katia and Baroni, Guido (2016): A sinogram warping strategy for pre-reconstruction 4D PET optimization. In: Medical & Biological Engineering & Computing, Vol. 54, No. 2-3: pp. 535-546

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A novel strategy for 4D PET optimization in the sinogram domain is proposed, aiming at motion model application before image reconstruction ("sinogram warping" strategy). Compared to state-of-the-art 4D-MLEM reconstruction, the proposed strategy is able to optimize the image SNR, avoiding iterative direct and inverse warping procedures, which are typical of the 4D-MLEM algorithm. A full-count statistics sinogram of the motion-compensated 4D PET reference phase is generated by warping the sinograms corresponding to the different PET phases. This is achieved relying on a motion model expressed in the sinogram domain. The strategy was tested on the anthropomorphic 4D PET-CT NCAT phantom in comparison with the 4D-MLEM algorithm, with particular reference to robustness to PET-CT co-registrations artefacts. The MLEM reconstruction of the warped sinogram according to the proposed strategy exhibited better accuracy (up to +40.90 % with respect to the ideal value), whereas images reconstructed according to the 4D-MLEM reconstruction resulted in less noisy (down to -26.90 % with respect to the ideal value) but more blurred. The sinogram warping strategy demonstrates advantages with respect to 4D-MLEM algorithm. These advantages are paid back by introducing approximation of the deformation field, and further efforts are required to mitigate the impact of such an approximation in clinical 4D PET reconstruction.

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