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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


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.


External organisations
  • Skåne University Hospital
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Medical Imaging


  • Digital PET, FDG, Image quality, Oncology, PET-CT
Original languageEnglish
Article number81
JournalBMC Medical Imaging
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Oct 22
Publication categoryResearch