PET/CT: Comparison of quantitative tracer uptake between germanium and CT transmission attenuation-corrected images

Yuji Nakamoto, Medhat Osman, Christian Cohade, Laura T. Marshall, Jonathan M. Links, Steve Kohlmyer, Richard L. Wahl

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131 Scopus citations

Abstract

In PET, transmission scanning for attenuation correction has most commonly been performed with an external positron-emitting radionuclide source, such as 68Ge. More recently, combined PET/CT scanners have been developed in which the CT data can be used for both anatometabolic image formation and attenuation correction of the PET data. The purpose of this study was to assess the quantitative differences between CT-based and germanium-based attenuation-corrected PET images. Methods: Twenty-eight patients with known or suspected cancer underwent whole-body 18F-FDG PET/CT scanning for clinical diagnostic purposes. For each patient, attenuation maps were obtained from both the CT scan and the 68Ge transmission data, and 2 different attenuation-corrected emission datasets were produced. Measured activity concentrations (both mean and maximum) from identical regions of interest in representative normal organs and in 36 pathologic foci of uptake were compared. Results: CT-corrected emission images generally showed slightly higher radioactive concentration values than did germanium-corrected images (P < 0.01) for all lesions and all normal organs except the lung. Mean and maximum radioactivity concentrations were 4.3%-15.2% higher for CT-corrected images than for germanium-corrected images. Calculated radioactivity concentrations were significantly greater in osseous lesions than in nonosseous lesions (11.0% vs. 2.3%, P < 0.05, for mean value; 11.1% vs. 2.1%, P < 0.01, for maximum value). A weak positive correlation was observed between the CT Hounsfield units within the regions of interest and the percentage difference in apparent tracer activity in the CT-corrected images. Conclusion: Although quantitative radioactivity values are generally comparable between CT- and germanium-corrected emission PET images, CT-based attenuation correction produced radioactivity concentration values significantly higher than the germanium-based corrected values. These effects, especially in radiodense tissues, should be noted when using and comparing quantitative PET analyses from PET and PET/CT systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1137-1143
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Nuclear Medicine
Volume43
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2002

Keywords

  • Attenuation correction
  • CT
  • F-FDG PET
  • PET/CT

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    Nakamoto, Y., Osman, M., Cohade, C., Marshall, L. T., Links, J. M., Kohlmyer, S., & Wahl, R. L. (2002). PET/CT: Comparison of quantitative tracer uptake between germanium and CT transmission attenuation-corrected images. Journal of Nuclear Medicine, 43(9), 1137-1143.