Full-Dose PET Image Estimation from Low-Dose PET Image Using Deep Learning: a Pilot Study
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Positron emission tomography (PET) imaging is an effective tool used in determining disease stage and lesion malignancy; however, radiation exposure to patients and technicians during PET scans continues to draw concern. One way to minimize radiation exposure is to reduce the dose of radioactive tracer administered in order to obtain the scan. Yet, low-dose images are inherently noisy and have poor image quality making them difficult to read. This paper proposes the use of a deep learning model that takes specific image features into account in the loss function to denoise low-dose PET image slices and estimate their full-dose image quality equivalent. Testing on low-dose image slices indicates a significant improvement in image quality that is comparable to the ground truth full–dose image slices. Additionally, this approach can lower the cost of conducting a PET scan since less radioactive material is required per scan, which may promote the usage of PET scans for medical diagnosis.
KeywordsDeep learning Denoising Image estimation Low-dose PET
The authors wish to thank many colleagues at Philips, particularly Steve Cochoff and Andriy Andreyev, for discussion and support during this study. We are also grateful to anonymous reviewers whose comments and suggestions greatly improve the paper.
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