Semi-quantitative and simulation analyses of effects of γ rays on determination of calibration factors of PET scanners with point-like 22Na sources
The uncertainty of radioactivity concentrations measured with positron emission tomography (PET) scanners ultimately depends on the uncertainty of the calibration factors. A new practical calibration scheme using point-like 22Na radioactive sources has been developed. The purpose of this study is to theoretically investigate the effects of the associated 1.275 MeV γ rays on the calibration factors. The physical processes affecting the coincidence data were categorized in order to derive approximate semi-quantitative formulae. Assuming the design parameters of some typical commercial PET scanners, the effects of the γ rays as relative deviations in the calibration factors were evaluated by semi-quantitative formulae and a Monte Carlo simulation. The relative deviations in the calibration factors were less than 4%, depending on the details of the PET scanners. The event losses due to rejecting multiple coincidence events of scattered γ rays had the strongest effect. The results from the semi-quantitative formulae and the Monte Carlo simulation were consistent and were useful in understanding the underlying mechanisms. The deviations are considered small enough to correct on the basis of precise Monte Carlo simulation. This study thus offers an important theoretical basis for the validity of the calibration method using point-like 22Na radioactive sources.