Comparison of conventional and Si-photomultiplier-based PET systems for image quality and diagnostic performance

Jenny Oddstig, Sigrid Leide Svegborn, Helen Almquist, Ulrika Bitzén, Sabine Garpered, Fredrik Hedeer, Cecilia Hindorf, Jonas Jögi, Lena Jönsson, David Minarik, Richard Petersson, Annika Welinder, Per Wollmer, Elin Trägårdh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: A new generation of positron emission tomography with computed tomography (PET-CT) was recently introduced using silicon (Si) photomultiplier (PM)-based technology. Our aim was to compare the image quality and diagnostic performance of a SiPM-based PET-CT (Discovery MI; GE Healthcare, Milwaukee, WI, USA) with a time-of-flight PET-CT scanner with a conventional PM detector (Gemini TF; Philips Healthcare, Cleveland, OH, USA), including reconstruction algorithms per vendor's recommendations. METHODS: Imaging of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association IEC body phantom and 16 patients was carried out using 1.5 min/bed for the Discovery MI PET-CT and 2 min/bed for the Gemini TF PET-CT. Images were analysed for recovery coefficients for the phantom, signal-to-noise ratio in the liver, standardized uptake values (SUV) in lesions, number of lesions and metabolic TNM classifications in patients. RESULTS: In phantom, the correct (> 90%) activity level was measured for spheres ≥17 mm for Discovery MI, whereas the Gemini TF reached a correct measured activity level for the 37-mm sphere. In patient studies, metabolic TNM classification was worse using images obtained from the Discovery MI compared those obtained from the Gemini TF in 4 of 15 patients. A trend toward more malignant, inflammatory and unclear lesions was found using images acquired with the Discovery MI compared with the Gemini TF, but this was not statistically significant. Lesion-to-blood-pool SUV ratios were significantly higher in images from the Discovery MI compared with the Gemini TF for lesions smaller than 1 cm (p < 0.001), but this was not the case for larger lesions (p = 0.053). The signal-to-noise ratio in the liver was similar between platforms (p = 0.52). Also, shorter acquisition times were possible using the Discovery MI, with preserved signal-to-noise ratio in the liver. CONCLUSIONS: Image quality was better with Discovery MI compared to conventional Gemini TF. Although no gold standard was available, the results indicate that the new PET-CT generation will provide potentially better diagnostic performance.

Original languageEnglish
Article number81
JournalBMC Medical Imaging
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Oct 22

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Medical Imaging
  • Other Physics Topics


  • Digital PET
  • FDG
  • Image quality
  • Oncology
  • PET-CT


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