An MR image-guided, voxel-based partial volume correction method for PET images

Hesheng Wang, Baowei Fei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Purpose: Partial volume effect in positron emission tomography (PET) can cause incorrect quantification of radiopharmaceutical uptake in functional imaging. A PET partial volume correction method is presented to attenuate partial volume blurring and to yield voxel-based corrected PET images. Methods: By modeling partial volume effect as a convolution of point spread function of the PET scanner, the reconstructed PET images are corrected by iterative deconvolution with an edge-preserving smoothness constraint. The constraint is constructed to restore discontinuities extracted from coregistered MR images but maintains the smoothness in radioactivity distribution. The correction is implemented in a Bayesian deconvolution framework and is solved by a conjugate gradient method. The performance of the method was compared with the geometric transfer matrix (GTM) method on a simulated dataset. The method was evaluated on synthesized brain FDG-PET data and phantom MRI-PET experiments. Results: The true PET activity of objects with a size of greater than the full-width at half maximum of the point spread function has been effectively restored in the simulated data. The partial volume correction method is quantitatively comparable to the GTM method. For synthesized FDG-PET with true activity 0 ci/cc for cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), 228 ci/cc for white matter (WM), and 621 ci/cc for gray matter (GM), the method has improved the radioactivity quantification from 186 16 ci/cc to 30 7 ci/cc in CSF, 317 15 ci/cc to 236 10 ci/cc for WM, 438 4 ci/cc to 592 5 ci/cc for GM. Both visual and quantitative assessments show improvement of partial volume correction in the synthesized and phantom experiments. Conclusions: The partial volume correction method improves the quantification of PET images. The method is comparable to the GTM method but does not need MR image segmentation or prior tracer distribution information. The voxel-based method can be particularly useful for combined PET/MRI studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)179-194
Number of pages16
JournalMedical physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • deconvolution
  • edge preserving
  • magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • partial volume correction
  • positron emission tomography (PET)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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