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Technical Aspects of Positron-Emission-Tomography

Typically, a PET-scanner consists of a detector ring with 60 cm diameter and 20 cm length inside which the patient is positioned. For brain studies, the patient bed is positioned in such a way that the entire brain is within the field of view, whereas for full-body investigations, the bed is moved into the field of view step-by-step.

The detector consists of scintillation detectors with scintillation crystals coupled to photomultipliers. The radiation, which is emitted from the patient after the injection of a weak radioactively labelled substance (radiotracer), causes light pulses within the scintillation crystals. This light is then converted to electrical signals by the photomultiplier. A detector is linked to opposing detectors by a coincidence logic: if the radiation hits two opposing detectors within a time interval of, e.g. 6 ns, it is assumed that the radiation comes from a radiotracer molecule located on the line connecting the two detectors. During the PET study, which can last from a few minutes up to two or three hours, thousands of such coincidence lines are recorded. Using this data and appropriate programs, images are reconstructed which show the spatial and temporal distribution of the radiotracer within the patient. In this way, increased or decreased uptake in a tumour or an infarct area, respectively, can be visualised. Today’s PET scanners offer an image resolution of 4-5 mm.


Bildgebung mit nicht-standardisierten Positronenstrahlern

Imaging with non-standard positron emitters

Most of the non-standard positron emitters exhibited a high positron energy which is responsible for a further decrease of image resolution.

Modellierung der Tracerkinetik

Modelling the tracer kinetics of [18F]-Fluor-Ethyl-Tyrosine (FET)

We have developed a simple method to generate parametric images of FET kinetics by fitting the time-activity curves in each voxel by regression lines.

Additional Information

Technical Aspects of PET

Group Leader

Dr. Christoph Lerche


Dr. Jürgen Scheins

Wenwei BiClàudia Régio BrambillaSilke Frensch

Chong Li

Suzanne Schaden

Lutz Tellmann