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Feasibility of rapid multitracer PET tumor imaging

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2 Author(s)
Kadrmas, D.J. ; Dept. of Bioeng., Univ. of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA ; Rust, T.C.

Positron emission tomography (PET) can characterize different aspects of tumor physiology using various tracers. PET scans are usually performed using only one tracer since there is no explicit signal for distinguishing multiple tracers. We tested the feasibility of rapidly imaging multiple PET tracers using dynamic imaging techniques, where the signals from each tracer are separated based upon differences in tracer half-life, kinetics, and distribution. Time-activity curve populations for FDG, acetate, ATSM, and PTSM were simulated using appropriate compartment models, and noisy dual-tracer curves were computed by shifting and adding the single-tracer curves. Single-tracer components were then estimated from dual-tracer data using two methods: principal component analysis (PCA)-based fits of single-tracer components to multitracer data, and parallel multitracer compartment models estimating single-tracer rate parameters from multitracer time-activity curves. The PCA analysis found that there is information content present for separating multitracer data, and that tracer separability depends upon tracer kinetics, injection order and timing. Multitracer compartment modeling recovered rate parameters for individual tracers with good accuracy but somewhat higher statistical uncertainty than single-tracer results when the injection delay was >10 min. These approaches to processing rapid multitracer PET data may potentially provide a new tool for characterizing multiple aspects of tumor physiology in vivo.

Published in:

Nuclear Science, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:52 ,  Issue: 5 )

Date of Publication:

Oct. 2005

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