Validation of a simulation model of intrinsic 176-Lu activity in LSO-based preclinical PET systems
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The LSO scintillator crystal commonly used in PET scanners contains a low level of intrinsic radioactivity due to a small amount of Lu-176. This is not usually a concern in routine scanning but can become an issue in small animal imaging, especially when imaging low tracer activity levels. Previously there had been no systematic validation of simulations of this activity; this thesis discusses the validation of a GATE model of intrinsic Lu-176 against results from a bench-top pair of detectors and a Siemens Inveon preclinical PET system. The simulation results matched those from the bench-top system very well, but did not agree as well with results from the complete Inveon system due to a drop-off in system sensitivity at low energies that was not modelled. With this validation the model can now be used with confidence to predict the effects of Lu-176 activity in future PET systems.