NEMA NU 4-2008 performance measurements of two commercial small-animal PET scanners: ClearPET and rPET-1 Articles uri icon

publication date

  • February 2011

start page

  • 58

end page

  • 65


  • 1


  • 58

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0018-9499

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1558-1578


  • In this work, we compare two commercial positron emission tomography (PET) scanners installed at CIEMAT (Madrid, Spain): the ClearPET and the rPET-1. These systems have significant geometrical differences, such as the axial field of view (110 mm on ClearPET versus 45.6 mm on rPET-1), the configuration of the detectors (whole ring on ClearPET versus one pair of planar blocks on rPET-1) and the use of an axial shift between ClearPET detector modules. We used an assessment procedure that fulfilled the recommendations of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) NU 4-2008 standard. The methodology includes studies of spatial resolution, sensitivity, scatter fraction, count losses and image quality. Our experiments showed a central spatial resolution of 1.5 mm (transaxial), 3.2 mm (axial) for the ClearPET and 1.5 mm (transaxial), 1.6 mm (axial) for the rPET-1, with a small variation across the transverse axis on both scanners (similar to 1 mm). The absolute sensitivity at the centre of the field of view was 4.7% for the ClearPET and 1.0% for the rPET-1. The peak noise equivalent counting rate for the mouse-sized phantom was 73.4 kcps reached at 0.51 MBq/mL on the ClearPET and 29.2 kcps at 1.35 MBq/mL on the rPET-1. The recovery coefficients measured using the image quality phantom ranged from 0.11 to 0.89 on the ClearPET and from 0.14 to 0.81 on the rPET-1. The overall performance shows that both the ClearPET and the rPET-1 systems are very suitable for preclinical research and imaging of small animals.


  • image quality assessment; performance evaluation; pet; small-animal imagers