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A simplified approach involving linear-regression straight-line parameter fitting of dynamic scan data is developed for both specific and nonspecific models. Where compartmental-model topologies apply, the measured activity may be expressed in terms of: its integrals, plasma activity and plasma integrals-all in a linear expression with macroparameters as coefficients. Multiple linear regression, as in spreadsheet software, determines parameters for best data fits. Positron emission tomography (PET)-acquired gray-matter images in a dynamic scan are analyzed: both by this method and by traditional iterative nonlinear least squares. Both patient and simulated data were used. Regression and traditional methods are in expected agreement. Monte-Carlo simulations evaluate parameter standard deviations, due to data noise, and much smaller noise-induced biases. Unique straight-line graphical displays permit visualizing data influences on various macroparameters as changes in slopes. Advantages of regression fitting are: simplicity, speed, ease of implementation in spreadsheet software, avoiding risks of convergence failures or false solutions in iterative Least squares, and providing various visualizations of the uptake process by straight line graphical displays. Multiparameter model-independent analyses on lesser understood systems is also made possible.
Date of Publication: Feb. 1997