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Factor analysis of dynamic PET images

Cruz Cavalcanti, Yanna. Factor analysis of dynamic PET images. PhD, Signal, Image, Acoustique et Optimisation, Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse, 2018

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Abstract

Thanks to its ability to evaluate metabolic functions in tissues from the temporal evolution of a previously injected radiotracer, dynamic positron emission tomography (PET) has become an ubiquitous analysis tool to quantify biological processes. Several quantification techniques from the PET imaging literature require a previous estimation of global time-activity curves (TACs) (herein called \textit{factors}) representing the concentration of tracer in a reference tissue or blood over time. To this end, factor analysis has often appeared as an unsupervised learning solution for the extraction of factors and their respective fractions in each voxel. Inspired by the hyperspectral unmixing literature, this manuscript addresses two main drawbacks of general factor analysis techniques applied to dynamic PET. The first one is the assumption that the elementary response of each tissue to tracer distribution is spatially homogeneous. Even though this homogeneity assumption has proven its effectiveness in several factor analysis studies, it may not always provide a sufficient description of the underlying data, in particular when abnormalities are present. To tackle this limitation, the models herein proposed introduce an additional degree of freedom to the factors related to specific binding. To this end, a spatially-variant perturbation affects a nominal and common TAC representative of the high-uptake tissue. This variation is spatially indexed and constrained with a dictionary that is either previously learned or explicitly modelled with convolutional nonlinearities affecting non-specific binding tissues. The second drawback is related to the noise distribution in PET images. Even though the positron decay process can be described by a Poisson distribution, the actual noise in reconstructed PET images is not expected to be simply described by Poisson or Gaussian distributions. Therefore, we propose to consider a popular and quite general loss function, called the $\beta$-divergence, that is able to generalize conventional loss functions such as the least-square distance, Kullback-Leibler and Itakura-Saito divergences, respectively corresponding to Gaussian, Poisson and Gamma distributions. This loss function is applied to three factor analysis models in order to evaluate its impact on dynamic PET images with different reconstruction characteristics.

Item Type:PhD Thesis
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Institution:Université de Toulouse > Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse - Toulouse INP (FRANCE)
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Research Director:
Dobigeon, Nicolas and Tauber, Clovis
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Deposited On:10 May 2019 12:43

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