Digital anthropomorphic phantoms of non-rigid human respiratory and voluntary body motion for investigating motion correction in emission imaging
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The development of methods for correcting patient motion in emission tomography has been receiving increased attention. Often the performance of these methods is evaluated through simulations using digital anthropomorphic phantoms, such as the commonly used extended cardiac torso (XCAT) phantom, which models both respiratory and cardiac motion based on human studies. However, non-rigid body motion, which is frequently seen in clinical studies, is not present in the standard XCAT phantom. In addition, respiratory motion in the standard phantom is limited to a single generic trend. In this work, to obtain a more realistic representation of motion, we developed a series of individual-specific XCAT phantoms, modeling non-rigid respiratory and non-rigid body motions derived from the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) acquisitions of volunteers. Acquisitions were performed in the sagittal orientation using the Navigator methodology. Baseline (no motion) acquisitions at end-expiration were obtained at the beginning of each imaging session for each volunteer. For the body motion studies, MRI was again acquired only at end-expiration for five body motion poses (shoulder stretch, shoulder twist, lateral bend, side roll, and axial slide). For the respiratory motion studies, an MRI was acquired during free/regular breathing. The magnetic resonance slices were then retrospectively sorted into 14 amplitude-binned respiratory states, end-expiration, end-inspiration, six intermediary states during inspiration, and six during expiration using the recorded Navigator signal. XCAT phantoms were then generated based on these MRI data by interactive alignment of the organ contours of the XCAT with the MRI slices using a graphical user interface. Thus far we have created five body motion and five respiratory motion XCAT phantoms from the MRI acquisitions of six healthy volunteers (three males and three females). Non-rigid motion exhibited by the volunteers was reflected in both respiratory and body motion phantoms with a varying extent and character for each individual. In addition to these phantoms, we recorded the position of markers placed on the chest of the volunteers for the body motion studies, which could be used as external motion measurement. Using these phantoms and external motion data, investigators will be able to test their motion correction approaches for realistic motion obtained from different individuals. The non-uniform rational B-spline data and the parameter files for these phantoms are freely available for downloading and can be used with the XCAT license.
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