Positioning true coincidences that undergo inter-and intra-crystal scatter for a sub-mm resolution cadmium zinc telluride-based PET system

Shiva Abbaszadeh, Garry Chinn, Craig S. Levin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The kinematics of Compton scatter can be used to estimate the interaction sequence of inter-crystal scatter interactions in 3D position-sensitive cadmium zinc telluride (CZT) detectors. However, in the case of intra-crystal scatter in a cross-strip CZT detector slab, multiple anode and cathode strips may be triggered, creating position ambiguity due to uncertainty in possible combinations of anode-cathode pairings. As a consequence, methods such as energy-weighted centroid are not applicable to position the interactions. In practice, since the event position is uncertain, these intra-crystal scatters events are discarded. In this work, we studied using Compton kinematics and a direction difference angle to provide a method to correctly identify the anode-cathode pair corresponding to the first interaction position in an intra-crystal scatter event. GATE simulation studies of a NEMA NU4 image quality phantom in a small animal positron emission tomography under development composed of 192, 40 mm × 40 mm × 5 mm CZT crystals shows that 47% of total numbers of multiple-interaction photon events (MIPEs) are intra-crystal scatter with a 100 keV lower energy threshold per interaction. The sensitivity of the system increases from 0.6 to 4.10 (using 10 keV as system lower energy threshold) by including rather than discarding inter- and intra-crystal scatter. The contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) also increases from 5.81 ± 0.3 to 12.53 ± 0.37. It was shown that a higher energy threshold limits the capability of the system to detect MIPEs and reduces CNR. Results indicate a sensitivity increase (4.1 to 5.88) when raising the lower energy threshold (10 keV to 100 keV) for the case of only two-interaction events. In order to detect MIPEs accurately, a low noise system capable of a low energy threshold (10 keV) per interaction is desired.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number025012
JournalPhysics in medicine and biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 2018


  • CZT
  • PET
  • cross-strip
  • small animal imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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