Novel computational methods for image analysis and quantification using position sensitive radiation detectors
Sammanfattning: The major advantage of position sensitive radiation detector systems lies in their ability to non invasively map the regional distribution of the emitted radiation in real-time. Three of such detector systems were studied in this thesis, gamma-cameras, positron cameras and CMOS image sensors. A number of physical factors associated to these detectors degrade the qualitative and quantitative properties of the obtained images. These blurring factors could be divided into two groups. The first group consists of the general degrading factors inherent to the physical interaction processes of radiation with matter, such as scatter and attenuation processes which are common to all three detectors The second group consists of specific factors inherent to the particular radiation detection properties of the used detector which have to be separately studied for each detector system. Therefore, the aim of this thesis was devoted to the development of computational methods to enable quantitative molecular imaging in PET, SPET and in vivo patient dosimetry with CMOS image sensors.The first task was to develop a novel quantitative dual isotope method for simultaneous assessments of regional lung ventilation and perfusion using a SPET technique. This method included correction routines for photon scattering, non uniform attenuation at two different photon energies (140 and 392 keV) and organ outline. This quantitative method was validated both with phantom experiments and physiological studies on healthy subjects.The second task was to develop and clinically apply a quantitative method for tumour to background activity uptake measurements using planar mammo-scintigraphy, with partial volume compensation.The third stage was to produce several computational models to assess the spatial resolution limitations in PET from the positron range, the annihilation photon non-collineairy and the photon depth of interaction.Finally, a quantitative image processing method for a CMOS image sensor for applications in ion beam therapy dosimetry was developed.From the obtained phantom and physiological results it was concluded that the methodologies developed for the simultaneous measurement of the lung ventilation and perfusion and for the quantification of the tumour malignancy grade in breast carcinoma were both accurate. Further, the obtained models for the influence that the positron range in various human tissues, and the photon emission non-collinearity and depth of interaction have on PET image spatial resolution, could be used both to optimise future PET camera designs and spatial resolution recovery algorithms. Finally, it was shown that the proton fluence rate in a proton therapy beam could be monitored and visualised by using a simple and inexpensive CMOS image sensor.
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