Positron emission tomography (PET) imaging with fluorine-18 (18F) Fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) and flow tracer such as Rubidium-82 (82Rb) is an established method for evaluating an ischemic but viable myocardium. However, the high cost of PET imaging restricts its wider clinical use. Therefore, less expensive 18F FDG single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) imaging has been considered as an alternative to 18F FDG PET imaging. The purpose of the work is to compare SPECT with PET in myocardial perfusion/viability imaging.
A nonuniform RH-2 thorax-heart phantom was used in the SPECT and PET acquisitions. Three inserts, 3 cm, 2 cm and 1 cm in diameter, were placed in the left ventricular (LV) wall to simulate infarcts. The phantom acquisition was performed sequentially with 7.4 MBq of 18F and 22.2 MBq of Technetium-99m (99mTc) in the SPECT study and with 7.4 MBq of 18F and 370 MBq of 82Rb in the PET study. SPECT and PET data were processed using standard reconstruction software provided by vendors. Circumferential profiles of the short-axis slices, the contrast and viability of the inserts were used to evaluate the SPECT and PET images.
The contrast for 3 cm, 2 cm and 1 cm inserts were for 18F PET data, 1.0 ± 0.01, 0.67 ± 0.02 and 0.25 ± 0.01, respectively. For 82Rb PET data, the corresponding contrast values were 0.61 ± 0.02, 0.37 ± 0.02 and 0.19 ± 0.01, respectively. For 18F SPECT the contrast values were, 0.31 ± 0.03 and 0.20 ± 0.05 for 3 cm and 2 cm inserts, respectively. For 99mTc SPECT the contrast values were, 0.63 ± 0.04 and 0.24 ± 0.05 for 3 cm and 2 cm inserts respectively. In SPECT, the 1 cm insert was not detectable. In the SPECT study, all three inserts were falsely diagnosed as "viable", while in the PET study, only the 1 cm insert was diagnosed falsely "viable".
For smaller defects the 99mTc/18F SPECT imaging cannot entirely replace the more expensive 82Rb/18F PET for myocardial perfusion/viability imaging, due to poorer image spatial resolution and poorer defect contrast.
Computer simulations, a phantom study and a human study were performed to determine whether a slowly rotating single-photon computed emission tomography (SPECT) system could provide accurate arterial input functions for quantification of myocardial perfusion imaging using kinetic models. The errors induced by data inconsistency associated with imaging with slow camera rotation during tracer injection were evaluated with an approach called SPECT/P (dynamic SPECT from positron emission tomography (PET)) and SPECT/D (dynamic SPECT from database of SPECT phantom projections). SPECT/P simulated SPECT-like dynamic projections using reprojections of reconstructed dynamic 94Tc-methoxyisobutylisonitrile (94Tc-MIBI) PET images acquired in three human subjects (1 min infusion). This approach was used to evaluate the accuracy of estimating myocardial wash-in rate parameters K1 for rotation speeds providing 180° of projection data every 27 or 54 s. Blood input and myocardium tissue time-activity curves (TACs) were estimated using spatiotemporal splines. These were fit to a one-compartment perfusion model to obtain wash-in rate parameters K1. For the second method (SPECT/D), an anthropomorphic cardiac torso phantom was used to create real SPECT dynamic projection data of a tracer distribution derived from 94Tc-MIBI PET scans in the blood pool, myocardium, liver and background. This method introduced attenuation, collimation and scatter into the modeling of dynamic SPECT projections. Both approaches were used to evaluate the accuracy of estimating myocardial wash-in parameters for rotation speeds providing 180° of projection data every 27 and 54 s. Dynamic cardiac SPECT was also performed in a human subject at rest using a hybrid SPECT/CT scanner. Dynamic measurements of 99mTc-tetrofosmin in the myocardium were obtained using an infusion time of 2 min. Blood input, myocardium tissue and liver TACs were estimated using the same spatiotemporal splines. The spatiotemporal maximum-likelihood expectation-maximization (4D ML-EM) reconstructions gave more accurate reconstructions than did standard frame-by-frame static 3D ML-EM reconstructions. The SPECT/P results showed that 4D ML-EM reconstruction gave higher and more accurate estimates of K1 than did 3D ML-EM, yielding anywhere from a 44% underestimation to 24% overestimation for the three patients. The SPECT/D results showed that 4D ML-EM reconstruction gave an overestimation of 28% and 3D ML-EM gave an underestimation of 1% for K1. For the patient study the 4D ML-EM reconstruction provided continuous images as a function of time of the concentration in both ventricular cavities and myocardium during the 2 min infusion. It is demonstrated that a 2 min infusion with a two-headed SPECT system rotating 180° every 54 s can produce measurements of blood pool and myocardial TACs, though the SPECT simulation studies showed that one must sample at least every 30 s to capture a 1 min infusion input function.
Epilepsy surgery is highly effective in treating refractory epilepsy, but requires accurate presurgical localization of the epileptogenic focus. Briefly, localization of the region of seizure onset traditionally dependents on seizure semiology, scalp EEG recordings and correlation with anatomical imaging modalities such as MRI. The introduction of noninvasive functional neuroimaging methods, including single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and positron emission tomography (PET) has dramatically changed the method for presurgical epilepsy evaluation. These imaging modalities have become powerful tools for the investigation of brain function and are an essential part of the evaluation of epileptic patients. Of these methods, SPECT has the practical capacity to image blood flow functional changes that occur during seizures in the routine clinical setting. In this review we present the basic principles of epilepsy SPECT and PET imaging. We discuss the properties of the SPECT tracers to be used for this purpose and imaging acquisition protocols as well as the diagnostic performance of SPECT in addition to SPECT image analysis methods. This is followed by a discussion and comparison to F-18 FDG PET acquisition and imaging analysis methods.
This paper demonstrates the application of mutual information based coregistration of radionuclide and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in an effort to use multimodality imaging for noninvasive localization of stem cells grafted in the infarcted myocardium in rats. Radionuclide imaging such as single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) or positron emission tomography (PET) inherently has high sensitivity and is suitable for tracking of labeled stem cells, while high-resolution MRI is able to provide detailed anatomical and functional information of myocardium. Thus, coregistration of PET or SPECT images with MRI will map the location and distribution of stem cells on detailed myocardium structures. To validate this coregistration method, SPECT data were simulated by using a Monte Carlo-based projector that modeled the pinhole-imaging physics assuming nonzero diameter and photon penetration at the edge. Translational and rotational errors of the coregistration were examined with respect to various SPECT activities, and they are on average about 0.50 mm and 0.82°, respectively. Only the rotational error is dependent on activity of SPECT data. Stem cells were labeled with 111 Indium oxyquinoline and grafted in the ischemic myocardium of a rat model. Dual-tracer small-animal SPECT images were acquired, which allowed simultaneous detection of 111In-labeled stem cells and of [99mTc]sestamibi to assess myocardial perfusion deficit. The same animals were subjected to cardiac MRI. A mutual-information-based coregistration method was then applied to the SPECT and MRIs. By coregistration, the 111 In signal from labeled cells was mapped into the akinetic region identified on cine MRIs; the regional perfusion deficit on the SPECT images also coincided with the akinetic region on the MR image.
SPECT; MRI; Coregistration; Myocardial ischemia; Stem cells; Mutual information
Dual isotope single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and dual tracer positron emission tomography (PET) imaging have great potential in clinical and molecular applications in the pediatric as well as the adult populations in many areas of brain, cardiac, and oncologic imaging as it allows the exploration of different physiological and molecular functions (e.g., perfusion, neurotransmission, metabolism, apoptosis, angiogenesis) under the same physiological and physical conditions. This is crucial when the physiological functions studied depend on each other (e.g., perfusion and metabolism) hence requiring simultaneous assessment under identical conditions, and can reduce greatly the quantitation errors associated with physical factors that can change between acquisitions (e.g., human subject or animal motion, change in the attenuation map as a function of time) as is detailed in this editorial. The clinical potential of simultaneous dual isotope SPECT, dual tracer PET and dual SPECT/PET imaging are explored and summarized. In this issue of AJNMMI (http://www.ajnmmi.us), Chapman et al. explore the feasibility of simultaneous and sequential SPECT/PET imaging and conclude that down-scatter and crosstalk from 511 keV photons preclude obtaining useful SPECT information in the presence of PET radiotracers. They report on an alternative strategy that consists of performing sequential SPECT and PET studies in hybrid microPET/SPECT/CT scanners, now widely available for molecular imaging. They validate their approach in a phantom consisting of a 96-well plate with variable 99mTc and 18F concentrations and illustrate the utility of such approaches in two sequential SPECT-PET/CT studies that include 99mTc-MAA/18F-NaF and 99mTc-Pentetate/18F-NaF. These approaches will need to be proven reproducible, accurate and robust to variations in the experimental conditions before they can be accepted by the molecular imaging community and be implemented in routine molecular microPET and microSPECT explorations. Although currently not accepted as standard procedures in the molecular imaging community, such approaches have the potential to open the way to new SPECT/PET explorations that allow studying molecular mechanisms and pathways in the living animal under similar physiological conditions. Although still premature for the clinical setting, these approaches can be extended to clinical research once proven accurate and precise in vivo in small and large animal models.
Dualisotope; dual tracer; positron emission tomography (PET); single photon emission tomography (SPECT); quantitative imaging
A variety of imaging technologies is being investigated as tools for studying gene expression in living subjects. Two technologies that use radiolabeled isotopes are single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and positron emission tomography (PET). A relatively high sensitivity, a full quantitative tomographic capability, and the ability to extend small animal imaging assays directly into human applications characterize radionuclide approaches. Various radiolabeled probes (tracers) can be synthesized to target specific molecules present in breast cancer cells. These include antibodies or ligands to target cell surface receptors, substrates for intracellular enzymes, antisense oligodeoxynucleotide probes for targeting mRNA, probes for targeting intracellular receptors, and probes for genes transferred into the cell. We briefly discuss each of these imaging approaches and focus in detail on imaging reporter genes. In a PET reporter gene system for in vivo reporter gene imaging, the protein products of the reporter genes sequester positron emitting reporter probes. PET subsequently measures the PET reporter gene dependent sequestration of the PET reporter probe in living animals. We describe and review reporter gene approaches using the herpes simplex type 1 virus thymidine kinase and the dopamine type 2 receptor genes. Application of the reporter gene approach to animal models for breast cancer is discussed. Prospects for future applications of the transgene imaging technology in human gene therapy are also discussed. Both SPECT and PET provide unique opportunities to study animal models of breast cancer with direct application to human imaging. Continued development of new technology, probes and assays should help in the better understanding of basic breast cancer biology and in the improved management of breast cancer patients.
animal models; imaging; microPET; positron emission tomography; single photon emission computed tomography
Positron Emission Tomography (PET), Computed Tomography (CT), PET/CT and Single Photon Emission Tomography (SPECT) are non-invasive imaging tools used for creating two dimensional (2D) cross section images of three dimensional (3D) objects. PET and SPECT have the potential of providing functional or biochemical information by measuring distribution and kinetics of radiolabelled molecules, whereas CT visualizes X-ray density in tissues in the body. PET/CT provides fused images representing both functional and anatomical information with better precision in localization than PET alone.
Images generated by these types of techniques are generally noisy, thereby impairing the imaging potential and affecting the precision in quantitative values derived from the images. It is crucial to explore and understand the properties of noise in these imaging techniques. Here we used autocorrelation function (ACF) specifically to describe noise correlation and its non-isotropic behaviour in experimentally generated images of PET, CT, PET/CT and SPECT.
Experiments were performed using phantoms with different shapes. In PET and PET/CT studies, data were acquired in 2D acquisition mode and reconstructed by both analytical filter back projection (FBP) and iterative, ordered subsets expectation maximisation (OSEM) methods. In the PET/CT studies, different magnitudes of X-ray dose in the transmission were employed by using different mA settings for the X-ray tube. In the CT studies, data were acquired using different slice thickness with and without applied dose reduction function and the images were reconstructed by FBP. SPECT studies were performed in 2D, reconstructed using FBP and OSEM, using post 3D filtering. ACF images were generated from the primary images, and profiles across the ACF images were used to describe the noise correlation in different directions. The variance of noise across the images was visualised as images and with profiles across these images.
The most important finding was that the pattern of noise correlation is rotation symmetric or isotropic, independent of object shape in PET and PET/CT images reconstructed using the iterative method. This is, however, not the case in FBP images when the shape of phantom is not circular. Also CT images reconstructed using FBP show the same non-isotropic pattern independent of slice thickness and utilization of care dose function. SPECT images show an isotropic correlation of the noise independent of object shape or applied reconstruction algorithm. Noise in PET/CT images was identical independent of the applied X-ray dose in the transmission part (CT), indicating that the noise from transmission with the applied doses does not propagate into the PET images showing that the noise from the emission part is dominant. The results indicate that in human studies it is possible to utilize a low dose in transmission part while maintaining the noise behaviour and the quality of the images.
The combined effect of noise correlation for asymmetric objects and a varying noise variance across the image field significantly complicates the interpretation of the images when statistical methods are used, such as with statistical estimates of precision in average values, use of statistical parametric mapping methods and principal component analysis. Hence it is recommended that iterative reconstruction methods are used for such applications. However, it is possible to calculate the noise analytically in images reconstructed by FBP, while it is not possible to do the same calculation in images reconstructed by iterative methods. Therefore for performing statistical methods of analysis which depend on knowing the noise, FBP would be preferred.
An important challenge in medical diagnostics is to design all-in-one contrast agents that can be detected with multiple techniques such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), X-ray computed tomography (CT), positron emission tomography (PET), single photon emission tomography (SPECT) or fluorescence imaging (FI). Although many dual labeled agents have been proposed, mainly for combined MRI/FI, constructs for three imaging modalities are scarce. Here gold/silica nanoparticles with a poly(ethylene glycol), paramagnetic and fluorescent lipid coating were synthesized, characterized and applied as trimodal contrast agents to allow for nanoparticle-enhanced imaging of macrophage cells in vitro via MRI, CT and FI, and mice livers in vivo via MRI and CT. This agent can be a useful tool in a multitude of applications, including cell tracking and target-specific molecular imaging, and is a step in the direction of truly multi-modal imaging.
molecular imaging; cellular uptake; MRI; CT; contrast agents; paramagnetic agents; fluorescent probes; trimodal probes; nanoparticles
Meningiomas arise from the meningothelial cells of the arachnoid membranes. They are the most common primary intracranial neoplasms and represent about 20% of all intracranial tumors. They are usually diagnosed after the third decade of life and they are more frequent in women than in men. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) criteria, meningiomas can be classified into grade I meningiomas, which are benign, grade II (atypical) and grade III (anaplastic) meningiomas, which have a much more aggressive clinical behaviour. Computed Tomography (CT) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) are routinely used in the diagnostic workup of patients with meningiomas. Molecular Nuclear Medicine Imaging with Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT) and Positron Emission Tomography (PET) could provide complementary information to CT and MRI. Various SPECT and PET tracers may provide information about cellular processes and biological characteristics of meningiomas. Therefore, SPECT and PET imaging could be used for the preoperative noninvasive diagnosis and differential diagnosis of meningiomas, prediction of tumor grade and tumor recurrence, response to treatment, target volume delineation for radiation therapy planning, and distinction between residual or recurrent tumour from scar tissue.
The acronym THERANOSTICS epitomizes the inseparability of diagnosis and therapy, the pillars of medicine and takes into account personalized management of disease for a specific patient. Molecular phenotypes of neoplasms can be determined by molecular imaging with specific probes using positron emission tomography (PET), single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or optical methods, so that the treatment is specifically targeted against the tumor and its environment. To meet these demands, we need to define the targets, ligands, coupling and labeling chemistry, the most appropriate radionuclides, biodistribution modifiers, and finally select the right patients for the personalized treatment. THERANOSTICS of neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) using Ga-68 labeled tracers for diagnostics with positron emission tomography/ computed tomography (PET/CT), and using Lu-177 or other metallic radionuclides for radionuclide therapy by applying the same peptide proves that personalized radionuclide therapy today is already a fact and not a fiction.
THERANOSTICS; molecular imaging; personalized radionuclide therapy.
The purpose of this study is to evaluate the feasibility, the image quality, and the clinical relevance of an early gated post-stress (GPS) single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) tetrofosmin (Myoview™—GE Healthcare) acquisition protocol. Time delay between myocardial technetium-labeled tracer administration and SPECT acquisition is usually about 30 minutes after stress, and 45 to 60 minutes at rest: because of the absence of significant redistribution, perfusion images are related to stress even 30 minutes after stress injection, while function and thickening data obtained with gated acquisition 30 minutes after stress are mainly related to rest conditions.
194 patients were prospectively included and analyzed, in a multicenter registry. Three gated-SPECT 99mTc-Tetrofosmin studies were performed per patient: GPS-SPECT, 30 minutes post-stress (GS30), and at rest (GR30).
GPS image quality was excellent/good (93.9%), and similar to GS30 images (96.6%). The presence of adjacent myocardial sub-diaphragmatic activity on GPS images was similar to GS30 images (24% vs 22%), and less frequent than on GR30 images (31%). For perfusion, thickening, and motion scores, there was no significant difference between early and 30 minute post-stress in the global patient population, but significant differences were observed between GPS and GS30 for LVEF (65% ± 15% vs 63% ± 14%). In the ischemic patients, with the stress-rest protocol, the perfusion score was 14.2 on GPS images and 12.4 on GS30 images (P = .002).
Tetrofosmin early GPS-SPECT is feasible without impairment of image quality (better count rate). Ischemic defect size on early post-stress images is slightly more pronounced than at 30 minutes: this could modify therapeutic decision. This technique produces reliable function information during early post-stress period, and might be useful for disclosing transient motion abnormalities.
Tetrofosmin; myocardial perfusion imaging; gated SPECT; early imaging
including fluorescence imaging (FMI),
bioluminescence imaging (BLI), positron emission
tomography (PET), single-photon emission-computed tomography (SPECT), and computed tomography
(CT), has a pivotal role in the
process of tumor and relevant drug research. CT,
especially Micro-CT, can provide the anatomic
information for a region of interest (ROI); PET
and SPECT can provide functional information for
the ROI. BLI and FMI can provide optical
information for an ROI. Tumor angiogenesis and
relevant drug development is a lengthy,
high-risk, and costly process, in which a novel
drug needs about 10–15 years of testing to
obtain Federal Drug Association (FDA) approval.
Molecular imaging can enhance the development
process by understanding the tumor mechanisms
and drug activity. In this paper, we focus on
tumor angiogenesis, and we review the
characteristics of molecular imaging modalities
and their applications in tumor angiogenesis and
relevant drug research.
Routine single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) currently lacks quantitative information on regional activity concentration (ACC) of the injected tracer (e.g. kBq/ml). Furthermore, little is known on the skeletal absolute concentration of 99mTc-DPD after intravenous injection in bone scintigraphy. The aim of this study is to determine ACC in the healthy lumbar vertebrae of patients using a recently published quantitative SPECT/computed tomography (CT) protocol.
Lumbar vertebrae ACC estimates were performed in 50 female patients (mean age 69.88 ± 13.73 years) who had been administered 562.84 ± 102.33 MBq of 99mTc-DPD and had undergone SPECT acquisition 4 h after the injection. The SPECT/CT system was calibrated against a well counter. Images were reconstructed with Flash3D. ACC and CT tissue density were measured in volumes of interest drawn over the spongious bone tissue of the three lower lumbar vertebral bodies when these exhibited no focal CT or SPECT pathology.
Average ACC measured in the normal spongious bone tissue was 48.15 ± 13.66 kBq/ml (95% confidence interval (CI) 45.81 to 50.50 kBq/ml). This corresponds to a mean standardised uptake value (SUV) of (5.91 ± 1.54) (95% CI (5.64 to 6.17) SUV). SUV correlated significantly with Hounsfield units (HU) (r = 0.678, p < 0.0001). Significant negative correlations were observed between age and HU (r = −0.650, p < 0.0001) and between age and SUV (r = −0.385, p < 0.0001).
The SUVs determined for 99mTc-DPD uptake 4 h post injection are in the same range as those reported for [18F]fluoride in positron emission tomography. The strong correlation of SUV with bone CT density underlines the physiological significance of this variable. Our data suggest further investigation of the potential value of ACC measurement in the diagnosis of pathological conditions such as osteoporosis or in following up osseous metastases under therapy.
Quantitative SPECT; SPECT/CT; Bone scintigraphy
Objective—To investigate the relations between myocardial metabolism and the kinetics of thallium-201 in myocardial scintigraphy.
Methods—46 patients within six weeks after the onset of acute myocardial infarction underwent resting myocardial dual isotope, single acquisition, single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) using radioiodinated 15-iodophenyl 3-methyl pentadecaenoic acid (BMIPP) and thallium-201, exercise thallium-201 SPECT, and positron emission tomography (PET) using nitrogen-13 ammonia (NH3) and [F18]fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) under fasting conditions. The left ventricle was divided into nine segments, and the severity of defects was assessed visually.
Results—In the resting SPECT, less BMIPP uptake than thallium-201 uptake was observed in all of 40 segments with reverse redistribution of thallium-201, and in 21 of 88 segments with a fixed defect of thallium-201 (p < 0.0001); and more FDG uptake than NH3 uptake (NH3-FDG mismatch) was observed in 35 of 40 segments with reverse redistribution and in 38 of 88 segments with fixed defect (p < 0.0001). Less BMIPP uptake in the resting SPECT was observed in 49 of 54 segments with slow stress redistribution in exercise SPECT, and in nine of 17 segments with rapid stress redistribution (p < 0.0005); NH3-FDG mismatch was observed in 42 of 54 segments with slow stress redistribution and in five of 17 segments with rapid stress redistribution (p < 0.0005).
Conclusions—Thallium-201 myocardial scintigraphy provides information about not only myocardial perfusion and viability but also about myocardial metabolism in patients with acute myocardial infarction.
Keywords: thallium-201 SPECT; BMIPP SPECT; FDG PET; myocardial infarction; redistribution
Single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and position emission tomography (PET) are the two main imaging modalities in nuclear medicine. SPECT imaging is more widely available than PET imaging and the radionuclides used for SPECT are easier to prepare and usually have a longer half-life than those used for PET. In addition, SPECT is a less expensive technique than PET. Commonly used gamma emitters are: 99mTc (Emax 141 keV, T1/2 6.02 h), 123I (Emax 529 keV, T1/2 13.0 h) and 111In (Emax 245 keV, T1/2 67.2 h). Compared to clinical SPECT, PET has a higher spatial resolution and the possibility to more accurately estimate the in vivo concentration of a tracer. In preclinical imaging, the situation is quite different. The resolution of microSPECT cameras (<0.5 mm) is higher than that of microPET cameras (>1.5 mm). In this report, studies on new radiolabelled tracers for SPECT imaging of angiogenesis in tumours are reviewed.
Angiogenesis; αvβ3; VEGF; PMSA; ECM
The “back-translation” of clinically available protocols to measure myocardial perfusion to preclinical imaging in mouse models of human disease is attractive for basic biomedical research. With respect to single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) approaches, clinical myocardial perfusion imaging protocols are established with different 99mTc-labeled perfusion tracers; however, studies evaluating and optimizing protocols for these tracers in high-resolution pinhole SPECT in mice are lacking. This study aims at evaluating two clinically available 99mTc-labeled myocardial perfusion tracers (99mTc-sestamibi vs. 99mTc-Tetrofosmin) in mice using four different imaging protocols.
Adult C57BL/6 male mice were injected with 99mTc-sestamibi (MIBI) or 99mTc-Tetrofosmin (TETRO) (4 MBq/g body weight) either intravenously through the tail vein (n = 5) or retroorbitally (n = 5) or intraperitoneally (i.p.) under anesthesia (n = 3) or i.p. in an awake state (n = 3) at rest. Immediately after injection, a multi-frame single-photon emission computed tomography/computed tomography (SPECT/CT) acquisition was initiated with six subsequent time frames of 10 min each. Reconstructed images of the different protocols were assessed and compared by visual analysis by experts and by time-activity-curves generated from regions-of-interest for various organs (normalized uptake values).
Visually assessing overall image quality, the best image quality was found for MIBI for both intravenous injection protocols, whereas TETRO only had comparable image quality after retroorbital injections. These results were confirmed by quantitative analysis where left ventricular (LV) uptake of MIBI after tail vein injections was found significantly higher for all time points accompanied with a significantly slower washout of 16% for MIBI vs. 33% for TETRO (p = 0.009) from 10 to 60 min post injection (PI). Interestingly, LV washout from 10 to 60 min PI was significantly higher for TETRO when applied by tail vein injections when compared to retroorbital injections (22%, p = 0.008). However, liver uptake was significant and comparable for both tracers at all time points. Radioactivity concentration in the lungs was negligible for all time points and both tracers.
Intravenous MIBI injection (both tail vein and retroorbital) results in the best image quality for assessing myocardial perfusion of the murine heart by SPECT/CT. TETRO has a comparable image quality only for the retroorbital injection route.
Multi-pinhole SPECT; Myocardial perfusion; MIBI; Tetrofosmin; Mouse
Molecular imaging employs molecularly targeted probes to visualize and often quantify distinct disease-specific markers and pathways. Modalities like intravital confocal or multiphoton microscopy, near-infrared fluorescence combined with endoscopy, surface reflectance imaging, or fluorescence-mediated tomography, and radionuclide imaging with positron emission tomography (PET) and single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) are increasingly used for small animal high-throughput screening, drug development and testing, and monitoring gene therapy experiments. In the clinical treatment of breast cancer, PET and SPECT as well as magnetic resonance-based molecular imaging are already established for the staging of distant disease and intrathoracic nodal status, for patient selection regarding receptor-directed treatments, and to gain early information about treatment efficacy. In the near future, reporter gene imaging during gene therapy and further spatial and qualitative characterization of the disease can become clinically possible with radionuclide and optical methods. Ultimately, it may be expected that every level of breast cancer treatment will be affected by molecular imaging, including screening.
Breast cancer; Molecular imaging; PET; MRI; Optical imaging; Receptor
Yttrium-90 (90Y) positron emission tomography with integrated computed tomography (PET/CT) represents a technological leap from 90Y bremsstrahlung single-photon emission computed tomography with integrated computed tomography (SPECT/CT) by coincidence imaging of low abundance internal pair production. Encouraged by favorable early experiences, we implemented post-radioembolization 90Y PET/CT as an adjunct to 90Y bremsstrahlung SPECT/CT in diagnostic reporting.
This is a retrospective review of all paired 90Y PET/CT and 90Y bremsstrahlung SPECT/CT scans over a 1-year period. We compared image resolution, ability to confirm technical success, detection of non-target activity, and providing conclusive information about 90Y activity within targeted tumor vascular thrombosis. 90Y resin microspheres were used. 90Y PET/CT was performed on a conventional time-of-flight lutetium-yttrium-oxyorthosilicate scanner with minor modifications to acquisition and reconstruction parameters. Specific findings on 90Y PET/CT were corroborated by 90Y bremsstrahlung SPECT/CT, 99mTc macroaggregated albumin SPECT/CT, follow-up diagnostic imaging or review of clinical records.
Diagnostic reporting recommendations were developed from our collective experience across 44 paired scans. Emphasis on the continuity of care improved overall diagnostic accuracy and reporting confidence of the operator. With proper technique, the presence of background noise did not pose a problem for diagnostic reporting. A counter-intuitive but effective technique of detecting non-target activity is proposed, based on the pattern of activity and its relation to underlying anatomy, instead of its visual intensity. In a sub-analysis of 23 patients with a median follow-up of 5.4 months, 90Y PET/CT consistently outperformed 90Y bremsstrahlung SPECT/CT in all aspects of qualitative analysis, including assessment for non-target activity and tumor vascular thrombosis. Parts of viscera closely adjacent to the liver remain challenging for non-target activity detection, compounded by a tendency for mis-registration.
Adherence to proper diagnostic reporting technique and emphasis on continuity of care are vital to the clinical utility of post-radioembolization 90Y PET/CT. 90Y PET/CT is superior to 90Y bremsstrahlung SPECT/CT for the assessment of target and non-target activity.
Yttrium-90 radioembolization; Selective internal radiation therapy; Yttrium-90 PET/CT; Bremsstrahlung SPECT/CT; Diagnostic reporting; Non-target activity
Neuroimaging with single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) using the cerebral blood flow tracer 99Tc(m)-HMPAO has been used to study acute functional alterations after head injury and residual abnormalities at six month follow up in 32 patients. Comparison has been made with anatomical abnormalities defined acutely with CT and on follow up with MRI. SPECT showed slightly more abnormalities than CT in the acute phase (49 regions of abnormally low tracer uptake on SPECT and 45 lesions on CT). Twenty two of the acute SPECT abnormalities were in normal regions on CT. At follow up MRI showed more abnormalities than SPECT (30 on SPECT and 48 on MRI). Ten of the SPECT deficits were in regions with normal MRI. Comparison of the intensity of late and early SPECT deficits showed that only four early deficits deteriorated whereas 28 improved. Only five of 27 lesions seen on both acute SPECT and CT resolved compared with 16 of 22 lesions seen on SPECT but not on CT. Regions of abnormally high tracer uptake were detected in the acute stage in five of the patients. No high focal uptake was evident on follow up. Ten patients with a residual SPECT abnormality and eight with residual MRI lesions were graded clinically in the upper band of good recovery.
Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) research relies increasingly on small animal models and noninvasive imaging methods such as MRI, single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), and positron emission tomography (PET). However, a direct comparison among these techniques for characterization of perfusion, viability, and infarct size is lacking. Rats were studied within 18–24 hr post AMI by MRI (4.7 T) and subsequently (40–48 hr post AMI) by SPECT (99Tc-MIBI) and micro-PET (18FDG). A necrosis-specific MRI contrast agent was used to detect AMI, and a fast low angle shot (FLASH) sequence was used to acquire late enhancement and functional images contemporaneously. Infarcted regions showed late enhancement, whereas corresponding radionuclide images had reduced tracer uptake. MRI most accurately depicted AMI, showing the closest correlation and agreement with triphenyl tetrazolium chloride (TTC), followed by SPECT and PET. In some animals a mismatch of reduced uptake in normal myocardium and relatively increased 18FDG uptake in the infarct border zone precluded conventional quantitative analysis. We performed the first quantitative comparison of MRI, PET, and SPECT for reperfused AMI imaging in a small animal model. MRI was superior to the other modalities, due to its greater spatial resolution and ability to detect necrotic myocardium directly. The observed 18FDG mismatch likely represents variable metabolic conditions between stunned myocardium in the infarct border zone and normal myocardium and supports the use of a standardized glucose load or glucose clamp technique for PET imaging of reperfused AMI in small animals.
myocardial infarction; imaging; MR; SPECT; PET
Epileptogenic zones can be localized by F-18 fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG PET) and ictal single-photon emission computed tomography(SPECT). In medial temporal lobe epilepsy, the diagnostic sensitivity of FDG PET or ictal SPECT is excellent, however, the sensitivity of MRI is so high that the incremental sensitivity by FDG PET or ictal SPECT has yet to be proven. When MRI findings are ambiguous or normal, or discordant with those of ictal EEG, FDG PET and ictal SPECT are helpful for localization without the need for invasive ictal EEG. In neocortical epilepsy, the sensitivities of FDG PET or ictal SPECT are fair. However, because almost a half of the patients are normal on MRI, FDG PET and ictal SPECT are helpful for localization or at least for lateralization in these non-lesional epilepsies in order to guide the subdural insertion of electrodes. Interpretation of FDG PET has been recently advanced by voxel-based analysis and automatic volume of interest analysis based on a population template. Both analytical methods confirmed the performance of previous visual interpretation results. Ictal SPECT was analyzed using subtraction methods(coregistered to MRI) and voxel-based analysis. Rapidity of injection of tracers, HMPAO versus ECD, and repeated ictal SPECT, which remain the technical issues of ictal SPECT, are detailed.
Molecular imaging (MI) may be defined as imaging in vivo using molecules that report on biologic function. This review will focus on the clinical use of radioactive tracers (nonpharmacologic amounts of compounds labeled with a radioactive substance) that permit external imaging using single photon emission computed tomography (planar, SPECT) or positron emission tomography (PET) imaging. Imaging of lung cancer has been revolutionized with the use of fluorine-18–labeled fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG), an analog of glucose that can be imaged using PET. The ability to carry out whole body imaging after intravenous injection of 18F-FDG allows accurate staging of disease, helping to determine regional and distant nodal and other parenchymal involvement. Glycolysis is increased in nonmalignant conditions, including inflammation (e.g., sarcoidosis), and 18F-FDG PET is a sensitive method for evaluation of active inflammatory disease. Inflammatory disease has been imaged, even before the advent of PET, with planar and SPECT imaging using gallium-67, a radiometal that binds to transferrin. Metabolic alteration in pulmonary pathology is currently being studied, largely in lung cancer, primarily with PET, with a variety of other radiotracers. Prominent among these is thymidine; fluorine-18–labeled thymidine PET is being increasingly used to evaluate proliferation rate in lung and other cancers. This overview will focus on the clinical utility of 18F-FDG PET in the staging and therapy evaluation of lung cancer as well as in imaging of nonmalignant pulmonary conditions. PET and SPECT imaging with other radiotracers of interest will also be reviewed. Future directions in PET imaging of pulmonary pathophysiology will also be explored.
SPECT; PET; radiolabeled ligands; cancer; infection
Molecular imaging has witnessed a tremendous change over the last decade. Growing interest and emphasis are placed on this specialized technology represented by developing new scanners, pharmaceutical drugs, diagnostic agents, new therapeutic regimens, and ultimately, significant improvement of patient health care. Single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and positron emission tomography (PET) have their signature on paving the way to molecular diagnostics and personalized medicine. The former will be the topic of the current paper where the authors address the current position of the molecular SPECT imaging among other imaging techniques, describing strengths and weaknesses, differences between SPECT and PET, and focusing on different SPECT designs and detection systems. Radiopharmaceutical compounds of clinical as well-preclinical interest have also been reviewed. Moreover, the last section covers several application, of μSPECT imaging in many areas of disease detection and diagnosis.
Image guided technique is playing an increasingly important role in the investigation of the biodistribution and pharmacokinetics of drugs or drug delivery systems in various diseases, especially cancers. Besides anatomical imaging modalities such as computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), molecular imaging strategy including optical imaging, positron emission tomography (PET) and single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) will facilitate the localization and quantization of radioisotope or optical probe labeled nanoparticle delivery systems in the category of theranostics. The quantitative measurement of the bio-distribution and pharmacokinetics of theranostics in the fields of new drug/probe development, diagnosis and treatment process monitoring as well as tracking the brain-blood-barrier (BBB) breaking through by high sensitive imaging method, and the applications of the representative imaging modalities are summarized in this review.
Image; biodistribution; pharmacokinetic; theranostics; nanoparticles; antibody.
Proteases play important roles during tumor angiogenesis, invasion, and metastasis. Various molecular imaging techniques have been employed for protease imaging: optical (both fluorescence and bioluminescence), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), and positron emission tomography (PET). In this review, we will summarize the current status of imaging proteases in cancer with these techniques. Optical imaging of proteases, in particular with fluorescence, is the most intensively validated and many of the imaging probes are already commercially available. It is generally agreed that the use of activatable probes is the most accurate and appropriate means for measuring protease activity. Molecular imaging of proteases with other techniques (i.e. MRI, SPECT, and PET) has not been well-documented in the literature which certainly deserves much future effort. Optical imaging and molecular MRI of protease activity has very limited potential for clinical investigation. PET/SPECT imaging is suitable for clinical investigation; however the optimal probes for PET/SPECT imaging of proteases in cancer have yet to be developed. Successful development of protease imaging probes with optimal in vivo stability, tumor targeting efficacy, and desirable pharmacokinetics for clinical translation will eventually improve cancer patient management. Not limited to cancer, these protease-targeted imaging probes will also have broad applications in other diseases such as arthritis, atherosclerosis, and myocardial infarction.
Protease; cancer; molecular imaging; activatable probe; optical imaging; positron emission tomography