The silicon-photomultiplier (Si-PM) is a promising photodetector, especially for integrated PET/MRI systems, due to its small size, high gain, and low sensitivity to static magnetic fields. The major problem using a Si-PM-based PET system within the MRI system is the interference between the PET and MRI units. We measured the interference by combining a Si-PM-based PET system with a permanent-magnet MRI system. When the RF signal-induced pulse height exceeded the lower energy threshold level of the PET system, interference between the Si-PM-based PET system and MRI system was detected. The prompt as well as the delayed coincidence count rates of the Si-PM-based PET system increased significantly. These noise counts produced severe artifacts on the reconstructed images of the Si-PM-based PET system. In terms of the effect of the Si-PM-based PET system on the MRI system, although no susceptibility artifact was observed on the MR images, electronic noise from the PET detector ring was detected by the RF coil and reduced the signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) of the MR images. The S/N degradation of the MR images was reduced when the distance between the RF coil and the Si-PM-based PET system was increased. We conclude that reducing the interference between the PET and MRI systems is essential for achieving the optimum performance of integrated Si-PM PET/MRI systems.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging