Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California


UCLA Previously Published Works bannerUCLA

A Comparison of Amplitude-Based and Phase-Based Positron Emission Tomography Gating Algorithms for Segmentation of Internal Target Volumes of Tumors Subject to Respiratory Motion



To quantitatively compare the accuracy of tumor volume segmentation in amplitude-based and phase-based respiratory gating algorithms in respiratory-correlated positron emission tomography (PET).

Methods and materials

List-mode fluorodeoxyglucose-PET data was acquired for 10 patients with a total of 12 fluorodeoxyglucose-avid tumors and 9 lymph nodes. Additionally, a phantom experiment was performed in which 4 plastic butyrate spheres with inner diameters ranging from 1 to 4 cm were imaged as they underwent 1-dimensional motion based on 2 measured patient breathing trajectories. PET list-mode data were gated into 8 bins using 2 amplitude-based (equal amplitude bins [A1] and equal counts per bin [A2]) and 2 temporal phase-based gating algorithms. Gated images were segmented using a commercially available gradient-based technique and a fixed 40% threshold of maximum uptake. Internal target volumes (ITVs) were generated by taking the union of all 8 contours per gated image. Segmented phantom ITVs were compared with their respective ground-truth ITVs, defined as the volume subtended by the tumor model positions covering 99% of breathing amplitude. Superior-inferior distances between sphere centroids in the end-inhale and end-exhale phases were also calculated.


Tumor ITVs from amplitude-based methods were significantly larger than those from temporal-based techniques (P=.002). For lymph nodes, A2 resulted in ITVs that were significantly larger than either of the temporal-based techniques (P<.0323). A1 produced the largest and most accurate ITVs for spheres with diameters of ≥2 cm (P=.002). No significant difference was shown between algorithms in the 1-cm sphere data set. For phantom spheres, amplitude-based methods recovered an average of 9.5% more motion displacement than temporal-based methods under regular breathing conditions and an average of 45.7% more in the presence of baseline drift (P<.001).


Target volumes in images generated from amplitude-based gating are larger and more accurate, at levels that are potentially clinically significant, compared with those from temporal phase-based gating.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View