Characterisation of a novel [18F]FDG brain PET database and combination with a second database for optimising detection of focal abnormalities, using Focal Cortical Dysplasia as an example

Sameer Omer Jin, Inés Mérida, Ioannis Stavropoulos, Robert D. C. Elwes, Tanya Lam, Eric Guedj, Nadine Girard, Nicolas Costes, Alexander Hammers*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Brain [18F]FDG PET is used clinically mainly in the presurgical evaluation for epilepsy surgery and in the differential diagnosis of neurodegenerative disorders. While scans are usually interpreted visually on an individual basis, comparison against normative cohorts allows statistical assessment of abnormalities and potentially higher sensitivity for detecting abnormalities. Little work has been done on out-of-sample databases (acquired differently to the patient data). Combination of different databases would potentially allow better power and discrimination.
We fully characterised an unpublished healthy control brain [18F]FDG PET database (Marseille, n=60, ages 21-78 years) and compared it to another publicly available database (MRXFDG, n=37, ages 23-65 years). We measured and then harmonised spatial resolution and global values. A collection of patient scans (n=34, 13-48 years) with histologically confirmed Focal Cortical Dysplasias (FCDs) obtained on three generations of scanners was used to estimate abnormality detection rates using standard software (Statistical Parametric Mapping, SPM12).

Regional SUVs showed similar patterns, but global values and resolutions were different as expected. Detection rates for the FCDs were 50% for comparison with the Marseille database and 53% for MRXFDG. Simply combining both databases worsened the detection rate to 41%. After harmonisation of spatial resolution, using a full factorial design matrix to accommodate global differences, and leaving out controls older than 60 years, we achieved detection rates of up to 71% for both databases combined. Detection rates were similar across the three scanner types used for patients, and high for patients whose MRI had been normal (n=10/11).

As expected, global and regional data characteristics are database-specific. However, our work shows the value of increasing database size and suggests ways in which database differences can be overcome. This may inform analysis via traditional statistics or machine learning, and clinical implementation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number10.1186/s13550-023-01023-z
JournalEJNMMI Research
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 26 Jul 2023

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