Distributed models

Distributed models describe spatial and temporal variations and are generally accepted to correspond more closely to physiological reality than simpler compartmental models (Zierler 1981, Kuikka et al 1991). Compartmental models are inadequate when the data have high temporal resolution (Zierler 1981, Munk et al 2003).

However, in PET imaging, compartmental models have been shown to provide estimates of receptor concentration that are as good as those of a distributed model, and are assumed to be adequate for analysis of PET imaging data in general, when there is limited temporal resolution (Muzic & Saidel, 2003). More complex distributed-parameter models may not even be adequate at all for PET data in some cases (Quarles et al., 1993).

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Quarles RP, Mintun MA, Larson KB, Markham J, MacLeod AM, Raichle ME. Measurement of regional cerebral blood flow with positron emission tomography: a comparison of [15O]water to [11C]butanol with distributed-parameter and compartmental models. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 1993; 13: 733-747.

Wilks MQ, Knowles SM, Wu AM, Huang S-C. Improved modeling of in vivo kinetics of slowly diffusing radiotracers for tumor imaging. J Nucl Med. 2014; 55(9): 1539-1544.

Zierler K. A critique of compartmental analysis. Annu Rev Biophys Bioeng. 1981; 10:531-562.

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Created at: 2005-06-12
Updated at: 2014-04-17
Written by: Vesa Oikonen