The impact of respiratory motion correction on quantitative accuracy in PET imaging is evaluated using simulations for variable patient specific characteristics such as tumor uptake and respiratory pattern. Respiratory patterns from real patients were acquired, with long quiescent motion periods (type-1) as commonly observed in most patients and with long-term amplitude variability as is expected under conditions of difficult breathing (type-2). The respiratory patterns were combined with an MR-derived motion model to simulate real-time 4-D PET-MR datasets. Lung and liver tumors were simulated with diameters of 10 and 12 mm and tumor-to-background ratio ranging from 3:1 to 6:1. Projection data for 6-and 3-mm PET resolution were generated for the Philips Gemini scanner and reconstructed without and with motion correction using OSEM (2 iterations, 23 subsets). Motion correction was incorporated into the reconstruction process based on MR-derived motion fields. Tumor peak standardized uptake values (SUVpeak) were calculated from 30 noise realizations. Respiratory motion correction improves the quantitative performance with the greatest benefit observed for patients of breathing type-2. For breathing type-1 after applying motion correction, SUVpeak of 12-mm liver tumor with 6:1 contrast was increased by 46% for a current PET resolution (i.e., 6 mm) and by 47% for a higher PET resolution (i.e., 3 mm). Furthermore, the results of this study indicate that the benefit of higher scanner resolution is small unless motion correction is applied. In particular, for large liver tumor (12 mm) with low contrast (3:1) after motion correction, the SUVpeak was increased by 34% for 6-mm resolution and by 50% for a higher PET resolution (i.e., 3-mm resolution. This investigation indicates that there is a high impact of respiratory motion correction on tumor quantitative accuracy and that motion correction is important in order to benefit from the increased resolution of future PET scanners.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7348774
Pages (from-to)3110-3116
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE Transactions on Nuclear Science
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2015


  • Breathing pattern
  • motion correction
  • motion model
  • PET-MR
  • quantitative positron emission tomography


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