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Reduced acquisition time PET pharmacokinetic modelling using simultaneous ASL–MRI: proof of concept

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Catherine J. Scott, Jieqing Jiao, Andrew Melbourne, Ninon Burgos, David M. Cash, Enrico De Vita, Pawel J. Markiewicz, Antoinette O'Connor, David L. Thomas, Philip S. J. Weston, Jonathan M. Schott, Brian F. Hutton, Sebastien Ourselin

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2419-2432
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of cerebral blood flow and metabolism : official journal of the International Society of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism
Issue number12
Early online date5 Sep 2018
Accepted/In press29 Jul 2018
E-pub ahead of print5 Sep 2018
PublishedDec 2019


King's Authors


Pharmacokinetic modelling on dynamic positron emission tomography (PET) data is a quantitative technique. However, the long acquisition time is prohibitive for routine clinical use. Instead, the semi-quantitative standardised uptake value ratio (SUVR) from a shorter static acquisition is used, despite its sensitivity to blood flow confounding longitudinal analysis. A method has been proposed to reduce the dynamic acquisition time for quantification by incorporating cerebral blood flow (CBF) information from arterial spin labelling (ASL) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) into the pharmacokinetic modelling. In this work, we optimise and validate this framework for a study of ageing and preclinical Alzheimer's disease. This methodology adapts the simplified reference tissue model (SRTM) for a reduced acquisition time (RT-SRTM) and is applied to [ 18 F]-florbetapir PET data for amyloid-β quantification. Evaluation shows that the optimised RT-SRTM can achieve amyloid burden estimation from a 30-min PET/MR acquisition which is comparable with the gold standard SRTM applied to 60 min of PET data. Conversely, SUVR showed a significantly higher error and bias, and a statistically significant correlation with tracer delivery due to the influence of blood flow. The optimised RT-SRTM produced amyloid burden estimates which were uncorrelated with tracer delivery indicating its suitability for longitudinal studies.

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