While the first time-of-flight (TOF)-positron emission tomography (PET) systems were already built in the early 1980s, limited clinical studies were acquired on these scanners. PET was still a research tool, and the available TOF-PET systems were experimental.
Due to a combination of low stopping power and limited spatial resolution (caused by limited light output of the scintillators), these systems could not compete with bismuth germanate (BGO)-based PET scanners. Developments on TOF system were limited for about a decade but started again around 2000.
The combination of fast photomultipliers, scintillators with high density, modern electronics, and faster computing power for image reconstruction have made it possible to introduce this principle in clinical TOF-PET systems. This paper reviews recent developments in system design, image reconstruction, corrections, and the potential in new applications for TOF-PET. Read more.