EANM/EARL FDG-PET/CT accreditation - summary results from the first 200 accredited imaging systems

Andres Kaalep, Terez Sera, Wim Oyen, Bernd J. Krause, Arturo Chiti, Yan Liu, Ronald Boellaard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

106 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: From 2010 until July 2016, the EANM Research Ltd. (EARL) FDG-PET/CT accreditation program has collected over 2500 phantom datasets from approximately 200 systems and 150 imaging sites worldwide. The objective of this study is to report the findings and impact of the accreditation program on the participating PET/CT systems. Methods: To obtain and maintain EARL accredited status, sites were required to complete and submit two phantom scans - calibration quality control (CalQC), using a uniform cylindrical phantom and image quality control (IQQC), using a NEMA NU2–2007 body phantom. Average volumetric SUV bias and SUV recovery coefficients (RC) were calculated and the data evaluated on the basis of quality control (QC) type, approval status, PET/CT system manufacturer and submission order. Results: SUV bias in 5% (n = 96) of all CalQC submissions (n = 1816) exceeded 10%. After corrective actions following EARL feedback, sites achieved 100% compliance within EARL specifications. 30% (n = 1381) of SUVmean and 23% (n = 1095) of SUVmax sphere recoveries from IQQC submissions failed to meet EARL accreditation criteria while after accreditation, failure rate decreased to 12% (n = 360) and 9% (n = 254), respectively. Most systems demonstrated longitudinal SUV bias reproducibility within ±5%, while RC values remained stable and generally within ±10% for the four largest and ±20% for the two smallest spheres. Conclusions: Regardless of manufacturer or model, all investigated systems are able to comply with the EARL specifications. Within the EARL accreditation program, gross PET/CT calibration errors are successfully identified and longitudinal variability in PET/CT performances reduced. The program demonstrates that a harmonising accreditation procedure is feasible and achievable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)412-422
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean journal of nuclear medicine and molecular imaging
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018


  • EARL accreditation
  • Harmonisation
  • PET/CT
  • Performance
  • Quantification

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