The diagnostic CT images were reconstructed iteratively with a convolution kernel I30f (SAFIRE level of 3). The reconstructed CT slice thickness and the transversal voxel size was 3.0 mm and 1.5× 1.5 mm2, respectively. Based upon our previously conducted phantom-based optimization study images [13, 14] were reconstructed using the three-dimensional ordinary Poisson ordered-subset expectation maximization (OSEM) algorithm, either with standalone time of flight (TOF) approach or with combined TOF and point spread function (PSF). For both acquisition protocols, 4 image sets were reconstructed: TOF and TOF+PSF, each with 2 iterations (5 subsets) or 4 iterations (5 subsets). The reconstructed images had a voxel size of 3.3× 3.3× 3.0 mm3 and were smoothed with an isotropic Gaussian post-reconstruction filter of 4 mm. The estimated reconstructed PET spatial resolution (expressed as the full-width-at-half maximum) was 5.4 mm and 4.9 mm for TOF- and TOF+PSF-reconstructed images, respectively [13]. The resulting 4 images (reconstructed for each patient and each acquisition protocol) are referred to OSEM-TOF (2i), OSEM-TOF (4i), OSEM-TOF+PSF (2i), and OSEM-TOF+PSF (4i).

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