A novel non-linear recursive filter design for extracting high rate pulse features in nuclear medicine imaging and spectroscopy

Salar Sajedi, Alireza Kamal Asl, Mohammad R. Ay, Mohammad H. Farahani, Arman Rahmim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Applications in imaging and spectroscopy rely on pulse processing methods for appropriate data generation. Often, the particular method utilized does not highly impact data quality, whereas in some scenarios, such as in the presence of high count rates or high frequency pulses, this issue merits extra consideration. In the present study, a new approach for pulse processing in nuclear medicine imaging and spectroscopy is introduced and evaluated. The new non-linear recursive filter (NLRF) performs nonlinear processing of the input signal and extracts the main pulse characteristics, having the powerful ability to recover pulses that would ordinarily result in pulse pile-up. The filter design defines sampling frequencies lower than the Nyquist frequency. In the literature, for systems involving NaI(Tl) detectors and photomultiplier tubes (PMTs), with a signal bandwidth considered as 15 MHz, the sampling frequency should be at least 30 MHz (the Nyquist rate), whereas in the present work, a sampling rate of 3.3 MHz was shown to yield very promising results. This was obtained by exploiting the known shape feature instead of utilizing a general sampling algorithm. The simulation and experimental results show that the proposed filter enhances count rates in spectroscopy. With this filter, the system behaves almost identically as a general pulse detection system with a dead time considerably reduced to the new sampling time (300 ns). Furthermore, because of its unique feature for determining exact event times, the method could prove very useful in time-of-flight PET imaging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)754-764
Number of pages11
JournalMedical Engineering and Physics
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • High rate spectroscopy
  • Non-linear recursive filter
  • Nuclear medicine
  • Pulse pile-up
  • Pulse processing
  • Time-of-flight PET

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biomedical Engineering


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