The PETRRA positron camera: design, characterization and results of a physical evaluation
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The PETRRA positron camera is a large-area (600 mm x 400 mm sensitive area) prototype system that has been developed through a collaboration between the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory and the Institute of Cancer Research/Royal Marsden Hospital. The camera uses novel technology involving the coupling of 10 mm thick barium fluoride scintillating crystals to multi-wire proportional chambers filled with a photosensitive gas. The performance of the camera is reported here and shows that the present system has a 3D spatial resolution of similar to 7.5 mm full-width-half-maximum (FWHM), a timing resolution of similar to 3.5 ns (FWHM), a total coincidence count-rate performance of at least 80-90 kcps and a randoms-corrected sensitivity of similar to 8-10 kcps kBq(-1) ml. For an average concentration of 3 kBq ml(-1) as expected in a patient it is shown that, for the present prototype, similar to 20% of the data would be true events. The count-rate performance is presently limited by the obsolete off-camera read-out electronics and computer system and the sensitivity by the use of thin (10 mm thick) crystals. The prototype camera has limited scatter rejection and no intrinsic shielding and is, therefore, susceptible to high levels of scatter and out-of-field activity when imaging patients. All these factors are being addressed to improve the performance of the camera. The large axial field-of-view of 400 nun makes the camera ideally suited to whole-body PET imaging. We present examples of preliminary clinical images taken with the prototype camera. Overall, the results show the potential for this alternative technology justifying further development.
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PHYSICS IN MEDICINE AND BIOLOGY, 2005, 50 pp. 3971 - 3988
IOP PUBLISHING LTD