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    Most detectors in current positron emission tomography (PET) scanners and prototypes use lutetium oxyorthosilicate (LSO) or lutetium yttrium oxyorthosilicate (LYSO) scintillators. The aim of this work is to provide a complete set of background energy spectra, due to the scintillator intrinsic radioactivity, for a wide range of crystal sizes. An analytical model, developed and validated in a previous work, was used to obtain the background energy spectra of square base cuboids of different dimensions. The model uses the photon absorption probabilities of the three gamma rays (88, 202, and 307 keV) emitted following the beta decay of 176 Lu to 176 Hf excited states. These probabilities were obtained for each crystal size considered in this work from Monte Carlo simulations using the PENELOPE code. The probabilities are then used to normalize and shift the beta spectrum to the corresponding energy value of the simultaneous detection of one, two, or three gamma rays in the scintillator. The simulated cuboids had side lengths of 5, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, and 60 mm and crystal thickness T = 2.5, 5, 10, 15, and 20 mm. From these results a complete set of energy spectra, including intermediate dimensions, were obtained. In addition, LYSO and LSO were compared in terms of their analytical background energy spectra for two crystal sizes. The analytical spectra were convolved using a variable Gaussian kernel to account for the energy resolution of a typical detector. A parameterization of the photon absorption probabilities for each gamma ray energy as a function of the cuboid volume to surface area ratio was obtained. A data set of L(Y)SO background energy spectra was obtained and is available for the reader as 2D histograms. The model accurately predicts the structure of the energy spectra including the relative peak and valley intensities. The data allow visualizing how the structure evolves with increasing crystal length and thickness. Lutetium yttrium oxyorthosilicate and LSO present very similar background energy spectra for the range of sizes studied in this work and therefore the data generated can be confidently used for both scintillator materials. The filtered spectra showed a variable shift in the main peaks, depending on crystal size, alerting that to achieve a correct detector calibration using the background spectrum is not straight forward and requires precise data analysis and measurements. In addition, we found that square base L(Y)SO cuboids with same volume to surface area ratio have background spectra with the same structure. We present the energy spectra of L(Y)SO crystal of different sizes which will be very useful for industry and research groups developing and simulating detectors for positron imaging applications in terms of calibration, quality assurance, crystal maps, detector fine gain tuning, background reduction and other applications using the long-lived 176 Lu source. We analyzed the data produced in this work and found that crystal cuboids with equal volume to surface area ratio produce the same background energy spectra, a conclusion that simplifies its calculation and clarifies why the same energy spectrum is observed under different experimental setups. © 2021 American Association of Physicists in Medicine.


    Dalia Yvette Domínguez-Jiménez, Héctor Alva-Sánchez. Energy spectra due to the intrinsic radiation of LYSO/LSO scintillators for a wide range of crystal sizes. Medical physics. 2021 Apr;48(4):1596-1607

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    PMID: 33475160

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