Uncertainty Analysis in the Calibration of an Emission Tomography System for Quantitative Imaging

Marco D'arienzo, Maurice Cox

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1 Citation (Scopus)


It is generally acknowledged that calibration of the imaging system (be it a SPECT or a PET scanner) is one of the critical components associated with in vivo activity quantification in nuclear medicine. The system calibration is generally performed through the acquisition of a source with a known amount of radioactivity. The decay-corrected calibration factor is the "output" quantity in a measurement model for the process. This quantity is a function of a number of "input" variables, including total counts in the volume of interest (VOI), radionuclide activity concentration, source volume, acquisition duration, radionuclide half-life, and calibration time of the radionuclide. Uncertainties in the input variables propagate through the calculation to the "combined" uncertainty in the output quantity. In the present study, using the general formula given in the GUM (Guide to the Expression of Uncertainty in Measurement) for aggregating uncertainty components, we derive a practical relation to assess the combined standard uncertainty for the calibration factor of an emission tomography system. At a time of increasing need for accuracy in quantification studies, the proposed approach has the potential to be easily implemented in clinical practice.
Original languageEnglish
Article number9830386
Pages (from-to)-
JournalComputational and Mathematical Methods in Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Applied Mathematics

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