Evaluation of attenuation correction in PET/MRI with synthetic lesion insertion

Mahdjoub Hamdi, Yutaka Natsuaki, Kristen A. Wangerin, Hongyu An, Sarah St. James, Paul E. Kinahan, John J. Sunderland, Peder E.Z. Larson, Thomas A. Hope, Richard Laforest

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: One major challenge facing simultaneous positron emission tomography (PET)/ magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is PET attenuation correction (AC) measurement and evaluation of its accuracy. There is a crucial need for the evaluation of current and emergent PET AC methodologies in terms of absolute quantitative accuracy in the reconstructed PET images. Approach: To address this need, we developed and evaluated a lesion insertion tool for PET/MRI that will facilitate this evaluation process. This tool was developed for the Biograph mMR and evaluated using phantom and patient data. Contrast recovery coefficients (CRC) from the NEMA IEC phantom of synthesized lesions were compared to measurements. In addition, SUV biases of lesions inserted in human brain and pelvis images were assessed from PET images reconstructed with MRI-based AC (MRAC) and CT-based AC (CTAC). Results: For cross-comparison PET/MRI scanners AC evaluation, we demonstrated that the developed lesion insertion tool can be harmonized with the GE-SIGNA lesion insertion tool. About <3 % CRC curves difference between simulation and measurement was achieved. An average of 1.6% between harmonized simulated CRC curves obtained with mMR and SIGNA lesion insertion tools was achieved. A range of -5 % to 12% MRAC to CTAC SUV bias was respectively achieved in the vicinity and inside bone tissues in patient images in two anatomical regions, the brain, and pelvis. Conclusions: A lesion insertion tool was developed for the Biograph mMR PET/MRI scanner and harmonized with the SIGNA PET/MRI lesion insertion tool. These tools will allow for an accurate evaluation of different PET/MRI AC approaches and permit exploration of subtle attenuation correction differences across systems.

Original languageEnglish
Article number056001
JournalJournal of Medical Imaging
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2021


  • attenuation correction
  • positron emission tomography/magnetic resonance imaging
  • synthetic lesion insertion tool


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