Image reconstruction for PET/CT scanners: past achievements and future challenges

Author(s): Shan Tong, Adam M Alessio and Paul E Kinahan

PET is a medical imaging modality with proven clinical value for disease diagnosis and treatment monitoring. The integration of PET and CT on modern scanners provides a synergy of the two imaging modalities. Through different mathematical algorithms, PET data can be reconstructed into the spatial distribution of the injected radiotracer. With dynamic imaging, kinetic parameters of specific biological processes can also be determined. Numerous efforts have been devoted to the development of PET image reconstruction methods over the last four decades, encompassing analytic and iterative reconstruction methods. This article provides an overview of the commonly used methods. Current challenges in PET image reconstruction include more accurate quantitation, TOF imaging, system modeling, motion correction and dynamic reconstruction. Advances in these aspects could enhance the use of PET/CT imaging in patient care and in clinical research studies of pathophysiology and therapeutic interventions.

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