Incorporation of MRI-AIF information for improved kinetic modelling of dynamic PET data
In the analysis of dynamic PET data, compartmental kinetic analysis methods require an accurate knowledge of the arterial input function (AIF). Although arterial blood sampling is the gold standard of the methods used to measure the AIF, it is usually not preferred as it is an invasive method. An alternative method is the simultaneous estimation method (SIME), where physiological parameters and the AIF are estimated together, using information from different anatomical regions. Due to the large number of parameters to estimate in its optimisation, SIME is a computationally complex method and may sometimes fail to give accurate estimates. In this work, we try to improve SIME by utilising an input function derived from a simultaneously obtained DSC-MRI scan. With the assumption that the true value of one of the six parameter PET-AIF model can be derived from an MRI-AIF, the method is tested using simulated data. The results indicate that SIME can yield more robust results when the MRI information is included with a significant reduction in absolute bias of K-i estimates.
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