Background: Positron emission tomography (PET) is the non-invasive reference standard for myocardial blood flow (MBF) quantification. Hybrid PET-MR allows simultaneous PET and cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) acquisition under identical experimental and physiological conditions. This study aimed to determine feasibility of simultaneous 13N-Ammonia PET and dynamic contrast-enhanced CMR MBF quantification in phantoms and healthy volunteers.

Methods: Images were acquired using a 3T hybrid PET-MR scanner. Phantom study: MBF was simulated at different physiological perfusion rates and a protocol for simultaneous PET-MR perfusion imaging was developed. Volunteer study: five healthy volunteers underwent adenosine stress. 13N-Ammonia and gadolinium were administered simultaneously. PET list mode data was reconstructed using ordered subset expectation maximisation. CMR MBF was quantified using Fermi function-constrained deconvolution of arterial input function and myocardial signal. PET MBF was obtained using a one-tissue compartment model and image-derived input function.

Results: Phantom study: PET and CMR MBF measurements demonstrated high repeatability with intraclass coefficients 0.98 and 0.99, respectively. There was high correlation between PET and CMR MBF (r = 0.98, p < 0.001) and good agreement (bias - 0.85 mL/g/min; 95% limits of agreement 0.29 to - 1.98). Volunteer study: Mean global stress MBF for CMR and PET were 2.58 ± 0.11 and 2.60 ± 0.47 mL/g/min respectively. On a per territory basis, there was moderate correlation (r = 0.63, p = 0.03) and agreement (bias - 0.34 mL/g/min; 95% limits of agreement 0.49 to - 1.18).

Conclusion: Simultaneous MBF quantification using hybrid PET-MR imaging is feasible with high test repeatability and good to moderate agreement between PET and CMR. Future studies in coronary artery disease patients may allow cross-validation of techniques.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15
JournalEuropean Journal of Hybrid Imaging
Issue number1
Early online date3 Sept 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Sept 2019


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