The new super resolution technique allows for more detailed brain images


Result of the study of the brain ghost of Hoffman. Top row: same slice of PET reconstructed with A) 2 mm static OSEM, B) 1 mm static OSEM, C) proposed SR method and D) corresponding CT segment (note that CT image can be treated as a high resolution reference). Center row: Expand the region of interest to get the corresponding images. Bottom row: Line profiles for the corresponding data. Credit: Y Chemli, et al., Gordon Center for Medical Imaging: Department of Radiology Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA.

A new imaging technique has the potential to detect neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease, in the early stages, allowing doctors to diagnose and treat patients more quickly. Named super resolution, the imaging methodology combines position emission tomography (PET) with an external motion tracking device to create highly detailed brain images. This research was presented at the 2021 annual virtual meeting of the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging.

In PET image, image quality is often limited by the patient’s unwanted movements during the scan. In this study, researchers used to take advantage of the typically unwanted head movement of subjects to improve brain PET resolution.

Experiments of moving ghosts and non-human primates were performed on a PET scanner along with an external motion tracking device that continuously measured head movement with extremely high accuracy. Reference static PET acquisitions were also performed without inducing movement. After combining the data from the imaging devices, the researchers recovered PET images with a significantly higher resolution than that achieved in the static reference scans.

“This work shows that PET can be obtained with a resolution that exceeds the resolution of the scanner by making use, perhaps counterintuitively, of the patient’s usually unwanted movement, “said Yanis Chemli, Ph.D. in MSc, a candidate for the Gordon Center for Medical Imaging in Boston, Massachusetts.” it only compensates for the negative effects of head movement on PET image quality, but also leverages the greater sampling information associated with moving white image to improve effective PET resolution ”.

Although this super-resolution technique has only been tested in preclinical studies, researchers are currently working to extend it to human subjects. Looking to the future, Chemli noted the important impact that super resolution can have on brain disorders, specifically Alzheimer’s disease. “Alzheimer’s disease is characterized by the presence of messes composed of tau protein. These disorders begin to accumulate very early in Alzheimer’s disease – sometimes decades before symptoms – in very small regions of the brain. the better we can imagine these small structures in the brain, the sooner we can diagnose and, perhaps in the future, treat Alzheimer’s disease, ”he noted.

Abstract 34. “Super-resolution in PET brain using a real-time motion capture system,” Yanis Chemli, LTCI, Telecom Paris, Institut Polytechnique de Paris, Paris, France, and Gordon Center for Medical Imaging, Boston, Massachusetts; Marc-Andre Tetrault, computer engineering, University of Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada; Marc Normandin, Georges El Fakhri, Jinsong Ouyang and Yoann Petibonn, Department of Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts; and Isabelle Bloch, Sorbonne Universite, CNRS, LIP6, Paris, France and LTCI, Telecom Paris, Institut Polytechnique de Paris, Paris, France.

The material of contraction of light allows to see the ordinary microscope in super resolution

More information:
All summaries of the 2021 SNMMI Annual Meeting can be found online at

Provided by the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging

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