MR-based respiratory and cardiac motion correction for PET imaging
Purpose: To develop a motion correction for Positron-Emission-Tomography (PET) using simultaneously acquired magnetic-resonance (MR) images within 90 s.
Methods: A 90 s MR acquisition allows the generation of a cardiac and respiratory motion model of the body trunk. Thereafter, further diagnostic MR sequences can be recorded during the PET examination without any limitation. To provide full PET scan time coverage, a sensor fusion approach maps external motion signals (respiratory belt, ECG-derived respiration signal) to a complete surrogate signal on which the retrospective data binning is performed. A joint Compressed Sensing reconstruction and motion estimation of the subsampled data provides motion-resolved MR images (respiratory + cardiac). A 1-POINT DIXON method is applied to these MR images to derive a motion-resolved attenuation map. The motion model and the attenuation map are fed to the Customizable and Advanced Software for Tomographic Reconstruction (CASToR) PET reconstruction system in which the motion correction is incorporated. All reconstruction steps are performed online on the scanner via Gadgetron to provide a clinically feasible setup for improved general applicability. The method was evaluated on 36 patients with suspected liver or lung metastasis in terms of lesion quantification (SUVmax, SNR, contrast), delineation (FWHM, slope steepness) and diagnostic confidence level (3-point Likert-scale).
Results: A motion correction could be conducted for all patients, however, only in 30 patients moving lesions could be observed. For the examined 134 malignant lesions, an average improvement in lesion quantification of 22%, delineation of 64% and diagnostic confidence level of 23% was achieved.
Conclusion: The proposed method provides a clinically feasible setup for respiratory and cardiac motion correction of PET data by simultaneous short-term MRI. The acquisition sequence and all reconstruction steps are publicly available to foster multi-center studies and various motion correction scenarios.