We proposed a concept of whole gamma imaging (WGI) that utilizes all detectable gamma rays for imaging. An additional detector ring, which is used as the scatterer, is inserted in the field-of-view of a PET ring so that single gamma rays can be detected by the Compton imaging method. In particular, for the non-pure positron emitters which emit an additional gamma ray almost at the same time, triple gamma imaging will be enabled; localization on each line-of-response (LOR) is possible by using the Compton cone of the additional gamma ray. We developed a prototype to show a proof of the WGI concept. The diameters of scatterer ring and PET ring were set as 20 cm and 66 cm, respectively. For Compton imaging of the 662-keV gamma ray from a 137Cs point source, spatial resolution obtained by the list-mode OSEM algorithm was 4.4 mm FWHM at the 8 cm off-center position and 13.1 mm FWHM at the center position. For PET imaging of a 22Na point source, spatial resolution was about 2 mm FWHM at all positions. For the triple gamma imaging, 5.7 mm FWHM (center) and 4.8 mm FWHM (8 cm off-center) were obtained for the 22Na point source just by plotting the intersecting points between each LOR and each Compton cone of the 1275-keV gamma ray. No image reconstruction was applied. Scandium-44 was produced as a practical candidate of the non-pure positron emitters, and 6.6 mm FWHM (center) and 5.8 mm FWHM (8 cm off-center) were obtained in the same manner. This direct imaging approach which neither requires time-consuming event integration nor iterative image reconstruction may allow in vivo real-Time tracking of a tiny amount of activity. Our initial results showed the feasibility of the WGI concept, which is a novel combination of PET and Compton imaging.
- Compton camera
- triple gamma imaging