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Recent developments in time-of-flight PET

Overview of attention for article published in EJNMMI Physics, February 2016
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About this Attention Score

  • Among the highest-scoring outputs from this source (#23 of 147)
  • Good Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (71st percentile)

Mentioned by

3 tweeters
1 patent


210 Dimensions

Readers on

303 Mendeley
Recent developments in time-of-flight PET
Published in
EJNMMI Physics, February 2016
DOI 10.1186/s40658-016-0138-3
Pubmed ID

S. Vandenberghe, E. Mikhaylova, E. D’Hoe, P. Mollet, J. S. Karp


While the first time-of-flight (TOF)-positron emission tomography (PET) systems were already built in the early 1980s, limited clinical studies were acquired on these scanners. PET was still a research tool, and the available TOF-PET systems were experimental. Due to a combination of low stopping power and limited spatial resolution (caused by limited light output of the scintillators), these systems could not compete with bismuth germanate (BGO)-based PET scanners. Developments on TOF system were limited for about a decade but started again around 2000. The combination of fast photomultipliers, scintillators with high density, modern electronics, and faster computing power for image reconstruction have made it possible to introduce this principle in clinical TOF-PET systems. This paper reviews recent developments in system design, image reconstruction, corrections, and the potential in new applications for TOF-PET. After explaining the basic principles of time-of-flight, the difficulties in detector technology and electronics to obtain a good and stable timing resolution are shortly explained. The available clinical systems and prototypes under development are described in detail. The development of this type of PET scanner also requires modified image reconstruction with accurate modeling and correction methods. The additional dimension introduced by the time difference motivates a shift from sinogram- to listmode-based reconstruction. This reconstruction is however rather slow and therefore rebinning techniques specific for TOF data have been proposed. The main motivation for TOF-PET remains the large potential for image quality improvement and more accurate quantification for a given number of counts. The gain is related to the ratio of object size and spatial extent of the TOF kernel and is therefore particularly relevant for heavy patients, where image quality degrades significantly due to increased attenuation (low counts) and high scatter fractions. The original calculations for the gain were based on analytical methods. Recent publications for iterative reconstruction have shown that it is difficult to quantify TOF gain into one factor. The gain depends on the measured distribution, the location within the object, and the count rate. In a clinical situation, the gain can be used to either increase the standardized uptake value (SUV) or reduce the image acquisition time or administered dose. The localized nature of the TOF kernel makes it possible to utilize local tomography reconstruction or to separate emission from transmission data. The introduction of TOF also improves the joint estimation of transmission and emission images from emission data only. TOF is also interesting for new applications of PET-like isotopes with low branching ratio for positron fraction. The local nature also reduces the need for fine angular sampling, which makes TOF interesting for limited angle situations like breast PET and online dose imaging in proton or hadron therapy. The aim of this review is to introduce the reader in an educational way into the topic of TOF-PET and to give an overview of the benefits and new opportunities in using this additional information.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 3 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 303 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Germany 1 <1%
Unknown 302 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 73 24%
Researcher 49 16%
Student > Master 46 15%
Student > Bachelor 32 11%
Student > Doctoral Student 14 5%
Other 34 11%
Unknown 55 18%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Physics and Astronomy 68 22%
Engineering 59 19%
Medicine and Dentistry 47 16%
Computer Science 10 3%
Chemistry 10 3%
Other 35 12%
Unknown 74 24%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 5. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 10 October 2019.
All research outputs
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Outputs from EJNMMI Physics
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Outputs of similar age
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Outputs of similar age from EJNMMI Physics
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Altmetric has tracked 20,573,048 research outputs across all sources so far. This one has received more attention than most of these and is in the 72nd percentile.
So far Altmetric has tracked 147 research outputs from this source. They receive a mean Attention Score of 2.7. This one has done well, scoring higher than 84% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 278,320 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 71% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 1 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has scored higher than all of them