A brief comparison of PET analysis methods

Single-bolus studies

Table 1. Comparison of analysis methods for single-bolus PET studies
Method Outcome Requirements for Applicable to parametric imaging Vulnerabilities
PET scan Input
Fit to compartment model
(gold standard)
or
reference tissue input model
Transport and binding/metabolism rate constants, vascular volume, perfusion, VT, Ki Dynamic study arterial plasma no, except K1, Ki, or VT images None, if comprehensive model. All plasma input methods are vulnerable to systematic errors in plasma metabolite analysis. Possibly nonspecific binding in plasma (fP)
BPND, R1 Dynamic study reference tissue yes/no (depending on model) nonspecific binding in tissue (free fraction fND)
Transport and binding/metabolism rate constants, vascular volume, volumes of distribution (VT), BPF, BPP, BPND, R1 Dynamic study arterial plasma and reference tissue yes/no (depending on model) possibly nonspecific binding in plasma and/or tissue (fP and fND)
Spectral analysis Ki or VT, number of identifiable compartments Dynamic study arterial plasma yes nonspecific binding in plasma and/or tissue (fP and fND)
Ratio BPND Dynamic study reference tissue yes nonspecific binding in tissue (fND), vascular volume, bias dependent on BP
Ratio, approaches BPND Single scan reference tissue yes time from injection, nonspecific binding in tissue (fND), vascular volume
Multiple-time graphical analysis (MTGA): Patlak and Logan plots Ki Dynamic study arterial plasma yes nonspecific binding to plasma proteins (fP)
Ki Dynamic study reference tissue yes nonspecific binding in tissue (fND)
VT Dynamic study arterial plasma yes nonspecific binding in plasma and tissue (fP and fND)
DVR (VT/VND) Dynamic study reference tissue yes nonspecific binding in tissue (fND), reference k2
Fractional uptake rate FUR, approaches Ki Single scan arterial plasma yes Distribution volumes of free and nonspecifically bound tracer, vascular volume
Standardized uptake value SUV Single scan i.d. yes Perfusion, peripheral clearance, nonspecific binding in plasma and tissue (fP and fND), vascular volume, dose extravasation

The outcome of many of the methods is the (equilibrium) volume of distribution VT (or DV). If valid reference region exists, the regional distribution volume ratio can be calculated as DVR = DVROI/DVREFERENCE. This, in turn, relates to the binding potential BPND: BPND = DVR - 1. However, this measure is vulnerable to change of nonspecific binding in tissue.


Bolus + infusion studies

Table 2. Comparison of analysis methods for bolus/infusion PET studies
Method Outcome Requirements for Applicable to parametric imaging Vulnerabilities
PET scan Input
Ratio BPND Single scan reference tissue yes nonspecific binding in tissue (fND), vascular volume
VT Single scan venous plasma yes nonspecific binding in tissue (fND), vascular volume


References:

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Logan J, Alexoff D, Kriplani A. Simplifications in analyzing positron emission tomography data: effects on outcome measures. Nucl Med Biol. 2007; 34: 743-756.

Slifstein M, Laruelle M. Models and methods for derivation of in vivo neuroreceptor parameters with PET and SPECT reversible radiotracers. Nucl. Med. Biol. 2001; 28: 595-608.

Wong DF, GrĂ¼nder G, Brasic JR. Brain imaging research: Does the science serve clinical practice? Int Rev Psychiatry 2007; 19(5): 541-558.



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Created at: 2008-11-28
Updated at: 2016-04-18
Written by: Vesa Oikonen