Positron emission tomography (PET) with 15 O-labeled water can provide reliable measurement of cerebral blood flow (CBF). Quantification of CBF requires knowledge of the arterial input function (AIF), which is usually provided by arterial blood sampling. However, arterial sampling is invasive. Moreover, the blood generally is sampled at the wrist, which does not perfectly represent the AIF of the brain, because of the effects of delay and dispersion. We developed and validated a new noninvasive method to obtain the AIF directly by PET imaging of the internal carotid artery in a region of interest (ROI) defined by coregistered high-resolution magnetic resonance angiography. An ROI centered at the petrous portion of the internal carotid artery was defined, and the AIF was estimated simultaneously with whole brain blood flow. The image-derived AIF (IDAIF) method was validated against conventional arterial sampling. The IDAIF generated highly reproducible CBF estimations, generally in good agreement with the conventional technique.
- arterial input function