Publication Details

Holman, B. F., Cuplov, V., Hutton, B. F., Groves, A. M. & Thielemans, K. (2016). The effect of respiratory induced density variations on non-TOF PET quantitation in the lung. Physics in Medicine and Biology, 61 (8), 3148-3163.


Accurate PET quantitation requires a matched attenuation map. Obtaining matched CT attenuation maps in the thorax is difficult due to the respiratory cycle which causes both motion and density changes. Unlike with motion, little attention has been given to the effects of density changes in the lung on PET quantitation. This work aims to explore the extent of the errors caused by pulmonary density attenuation map mismatch on dynamic and static parameter estimates. Dynamic XCAT phantoms were utilised using clinically relevant 18F-FDG and 18F-FMISO time activity curves for all organs within the thorax to estimate the expected parameter errors. The simulations were then validated with PET data from 5 patients suffering from idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis who underwent PET/Cine-CT. The PET data were reconstructed with three gates obtained from the Cine-CT and the average Cine-CT. The lung TACs clearly displayed differences between true and measured curves with error depending on global activity distribution at the time of measurement. The density errors from using a mismatched attenuation map were found to have a considerable impact on PET quantitative accuracy. Maximum errors due to density mismatch were found to be as high as 25% in the XCAT simulation. Differences in patient derived kinetic parameter estimates and static concentration between the extreme gates were found to be as high as 31% and 14%, respectively. Overall our results show that respiratory associated density errors in the attenuation map affect quantitation throughout the lung, not just regions near boundaries. The extent of this error is dependent on the activity distribution in the thorax and hence on the tracer and time of acquisition. Consequently there may be a significant impact on estimated kinetic parameters throughout the lung.



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