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It is well known that 40%-50% of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) do not show increased 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) uptake. Recent research studies have demonstrated that 11C-acetate may be a complementary tracer to FDG in positron emission tomography (PET) imaging of HCC in the liver. Quantitative dynamic modeling is, therefore, conducted to evaluate the kinetic characteristics of this tracer in HCC and nontumor liver tissue. A three-compartment model consisting of four parameters with dual inputs is proposed and compared with that of five parameters. Twelve regions of dynamic datasets of the liver extracted from six patients are used to test the models. Estimation of the adequacy of these models is based on Akaike Information Criteria (AIC) and Schwarz Criteria (SC) by statistical study. The forward clearance K=K1*k3/(k2+k3) is estimated and defined as a new parameter called the local hepatic metabolic rate-constant of acetate (LHMRAct) using both the weighted nonlinear least squares (NLS) and the linear Patlak methods. Preliminary results show that the LHMRAct of the HCC is significantly higher than that of the nontumor liver tissue. These model parameters provide quantitative evidence and understanding on the kinetic basis of 11C-acetate for its potential role in the imaging of HCC using PET.
Date of Publication: April 2004