NEMA NU 4-2008 comparison of preclinical PET imaging systems

Andrew L. Goertzen, Qinan Bao, Mélanie Bergeron, Eric Blankemeyer, Stephan Blinder, Mario Cañadas, Arion F. Chatziioannou, Katherine Dinelle, Esmat Elhami, Hans Sonke Jans, Eduardo Lage, Roger Lecomte, Vesna Sossi, Suleman Surti, Yuan Chuan Tai, Juan José Vaquero, Esther Vicente, Darin A. Williams, Richard Laforest

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

181 Scopus citations


The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) standard NU 4-2008 for performance measurements of small-animal tomographs was recently published. Before this standard, there were no standard testing procedures for preclinical PET systems, and manufacturers could not provide clear specifications similar to those available for clinical systems under NEMA NU 2-1994 and 2-2001. Consequently, performance evaluation papers used methods that were modified ad hoc from the clinical PET NEMA standard, thus making comparisons between systems difficult. Methods: We acquired NEMA NU 4-2008 performance data for a collection of commercial animal PET systems manufactured since 2000: microPET P4, microPET R4, microPET Focus 120, microPET Focus 220, Inveon, ClearPET, Mosaic HP, Argus (formerly eXplore Vista), VrPET, LabPET 8, and LabPET 12. The data included spatial resolution, counting-rate performance, scatter fraction, sensitivity, and image quality and were acquired using settings for routine PET. Results: The data showed a steady improvement in system performance for newer systems as compared with first-generation systems, with notable improvements in spatial resolution and sensitivity. Conclusion: Variation in system design makes direct comparisons between systems from different vendors difficult. When considering the results from NEMA testing, one must also consider the suitability of the PET system for the specific imaging task at hand.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1300-1309
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Nuclear Medicine
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2012


  • NEMA NU 4-2008
  • PET performance evaluation
  • Positron emission tomography (PET)
  • Preclinical PET


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