Positron kinetics in an idealized PET environment

R Robson, Michael Brunger, S Buckman, Gustavo Garcia, Zoran Petrovic, Ronald White

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    17 Citations (Scopus)


    The kinetic theory of non-relativistic positrons in an idealized positron emission tomography PET environment is developed by solving the Boltzmann equation, allowing for coherent and incoherent elastic, inelastic, ionizing and annihilating collisions through positronium formation. An analytic expression is obtained for the positronium formation rate, as a function of distance from a spherical source, in terms of the solutions of the general kinetic eigenvalue problem. Numerical estimates of the positron range-a fundamental limitation on the accuracy of PET, are given for positrons in a model of liquid water, a surrogate for human tissue. Comparisons are made with the â gas-phaseâ (tm) assumption used in current models in which coherent scattering is suppressed. Our results show that this assumption leads to an error of the order of a factor of approximately 2, emphasizing the need to accurately account for the structure of the medium in PET simulations.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number12674
    Pages (from-to)12674-12683
    Number of pages10
    JournalScientific Reports
    Publication statusPublished - 6 Aug 2015


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