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In European journal of nuclear medicine and molecular imaging ; h5-index 66.0

PURPOSE : To enhance the image quality of oncology [18F]-FDG PET scans acquired in shorter times and reconstructed by faster algorithms using deep neural networks.

METHODS : List-mode data from 277 [18F]-FDG PET/CT scans, from six centres using GE Discovery PET/CT scanners, were split into ¾-, ½- and ¼-duration scans. Full-duration datasets were reconstructed using the convergent block sequential regularised expectation maximisation (BSREM) algorithm. Short-duration datasets were reconstructed with the faster OSEM algorithm. The 277 examinations were divided into training (n = 237), validation (n = 15) and testing (n = 25) sets. Three deep learning enhancement (DLE) models were trained to map full and partial-duration OSEM images into their target full-duration BSREM images. In addition to standardised uptake value (SUV) evaluations in lesions, liver and lungs, two experienced radiologists scored the quality of testing set images and BSREM in a blinded clinical reading (175 series).

RESULTS : OSEM reconstructions demonstrated up to 22% difference in lesion SUVmax, for different scan durations, compared to full-duration BSREM. Application of the DLE models reduced this difference significantly for full-, ¾- and ½-duration scans, while simultaneously reducing the noise in the liver. The clinical reading showed that the standard DLE model with full- or ¾-duration scans provided an image quality substantially comparable to full-duration scans with BSREM reconstruction, yet in a shorter reconstruction time.

CONCLUSION : Deep learning-based image enhancement models may allow a reduction in scan time (or injected activity) by up to 50%, and can decrease reconstruction time to a third, while maintaining image quality.

Mehranian Abolfazl, Wollenweber Scott D, Walker Matthew D, Bradley Kevin M, Fielding Patrick A, Su Kuan-Hao, Johnsen Robert, Kotasidis Fotis, Jansen Floris P, McGowan Daniel R


Deep neural networks, Image quality, PET