Over the last decade, small-animal PET imaging has become a vital platform technology in cancer research. With the development of molecularly targeted therapies and drug combinations requiring evaluation of different schedules, the number of animals to be imaged within a PET experiment has increased. This paper describes experimental design requirements to reach statistical significance, based on the expected change in tracer uptake in treated animals as compared to the control group, the number of groups that will be imaged, and the expected intra-animal variability for a given tracer. We also review how high-throughput studies can be performed in dedicated small-animal PET, high-resolution clinical PET systems and planar positron imaging systems by imaging more than one animal simultaneously. Customized beds designed to image more than one animal in large-bore small-animal PET scanners are described. Physics issues related to the presence of several rodents within the field of view (i.e. deterioration of spatial resolution and sensitivity as the radial and the axial offsets increase, respectively, as well as a larger effect of attenuation and the number of scatter events), which can be assessed by using the NEMA NU 4 image quality phantom, are detailed.
|Number of pages||13|
|Journal||European Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging|
|Publication status||Published - Sept 2012|