PURPOSE: Artifacts caused by head motion present a major challenge in brain positron emission tomography (PET) imaging. The authors investigated the feasibility of using wired active MR microcoils to track head motion and incorporate the measured rigid motion fields into iterative PET reconstruction.
METHODS: Several wired active MR microcoils and a dedicated MR coil-tracking sequence were developed. The microcoils were attached to the outer surface of an anthropomorphic(18)F-filled Hoffman phantom to mimic a brain PET scan. Complex rotation/translation motion of the phantom was induced by a balloon, which was connected to a ventilator. PET list-mode and MR tracking data were acquired simultaneously on a PET-MR scanner. The acquired dynamic PET data were reconstructed iteratively with and without motion correction. Additionally, static phantom data were acquired and used as the gold standard.
RESULTS: Motion artifacts in PET images were effectively removed by wired active MR microcoil based motion correction. Motion correction yielded an activity concentration bias ranging from -0.6% to 3.4% as compared to a bias ranging from -25.0% to 16.6% if no motion correction was applied. The contrast recovery values were improved by 37%-156% with motion correction as compared to no motion correction. The image correlation (mean ± standard deviation) between the motion corrected (uncorrected) images of 20 independent noise realizations and static reference was R(2) = 0.978 ± 0.007 (0.588 ± 0.010, respectively).
CONCLUSIONS: Wired active MR microcoil based motion correction significantly improves brain PET quantitative accuracy and image contrast.