Purpose: This study introduces a new hybrid ZTE/Dixon MR-based attenuation correction (MRAC) method including bone density estimation for PET/MRI and quantifies the effects of bone attenuation on metastatic lesion uptake in the pelvis. Methods: Six patients with pelvic lesions were scanned using fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) in an integrated time-of-flight (TOF) PET/MRI system. For PET attenuation correction, MR imaging con-sisted of two-point Dixon and zero echo-time (ZTE) pulse sequences. A continuous-value fat and water pseudoCT was generated from a two-point Dixon MRI. Bone was segmented from the ZTE images and converted to Hounsfield units (HU) using a continuous two-segment piecewise linear model based on ZTE MRI intensity. The HU values were converted to linear attenuation coefficients (LAC) using a bilinear model. The bone voxels of the Dixon-based pseudoCT were replaced by the ZTE-derived bone to produce the hybrid ZTE/Dixon pseudoCT. The three different AC maps (Dixon, hybrid ZTE/Dixon, CTAC) were used to reconstruct PET images using a TOF-ordered subset expec-tation maximization algorithm with a point-spread function model. Metastatic lesions were separated into two classes, bone lesions and soft tissue lesions, and analyzed. The MRAC methods were compared using a root-mean-squared error (RMSE), where the registered CTAC was taken as ground truth. Results: The RMSE of the maximum standardized uptake values (SUVmax) is 11.02% and 7.79% for bone (N = 6) and soft tissue lesions (N = 8), respectively, using Dixon MRAC. The RMSE of SUV-max for these lesions is significantly reduced to 3.28% and 3.94% when using the new hybrid ZTE/ Dixon MRAC. Additionally, the RMSE for PET SUVs across the entire pelvis and all patients are 8.76% and 4.18%, for the Dixon and hybrid ZTE/Dixon MRAC methods, respectively. Conclusion: A hybrid ZTE/Dixon MRAC method was developed and applied to pelvic regions in an integrated TOF PET/MRI, demonstrating improved MRAC. This new method included bone density estimation, through which PET quantification is improved.
- Dixon MRI
- zero echo-time (ZTE) MRI
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging