Skip to Main Content
Kinetic modeling of metabolic and physiologic cardiac processes in small animals requires an input function (IF) and a tissue time-activity curves (TACs). In this paper, we present a mathematical method based on independent component analysis (ICA) to extract the IF and the myocardium's TACs directly from dynamic positron emission tomography (PET) images. The method assumes a super-Gaussian distribution model for the blood activity, and a sub-Gaussian distribution model for the tissue activity. Our appreach was applied on 22 PET measurement sets of small animals, which were obtained from the three most frequently used cardiac radiotracers, namely: desoxy-fluoro-glucose (18F-FDG), [13 N]-ammonia, and [11C]-acetate. Our study was extended to PET human measurements obtained with the Rubidium-82 (82 Rb) radiotracer. The resolved mathematical IF values compare favorably to those derived from curves extracted from regions of interest (ROI), suggesting that the procedure presents a reliable alternative to serial blood sampling for small-animal cardiac PET studies.