OBJECT: The aim of this study was to determine the impact to PET quantification, image quality and possible diagnostic impact of an anterior surface array used in a combined PET/MR imaging system.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: An extended oval phantom and 15 whole-body FDG PET/CT subjects were re-imaged for one bed position following placement of an anterior array coil at a clinically realistic position. The CT scan, used for PET attenuation correction, did not include the coil. Comparison, including liver SUVmean, was performed between the coil present and absent images using two methods of PET reconstruction. Due to the time delay between PET scans, a model was used to account for average physiologic time change of SUV.
RESULTS: On phantom data, neglecting the coil caused a mean bias of -8.2 % for non-TOF/PSF reconstruction, and -7.3 % with TOF/PSF. On clinical data, the liver SUV neglecting the coil presence fell by -6.1 % (±6.5 %) for non-TOF/PSF reconstruction; respectively -5.2 % (±5.3 %) with TOF/PSF. All FDG-avid features seen with TOF/PSF were also seen with non-TOF/PSF reconstruction.
CONCLUSION: Neglecting coil attenuation for this anterior array coil results in a small but significant reduction in liver SUVmean but was not found to change the clinical interpretation of the PET images.