We assessed test–retest variability of cerebral blood flow (CBF), cerebral blood volume (CBV), cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen (CMRO2), and oxygen extraction fraction (OEF) measurements derived from dynamic 15O positron emission tomography (PET) scans.
In seven healthy volunteers, complete test–retest 15O PET studies were obtained; test–retest variability and left-to-right ratios of CBF, CBV, OEF, and CMRO2 in arterial flow territories were calculated.
Whole-brain test–retest coefficients of variation for CBF, CBV, CMRO2, and OEF were 8.8%, 13.8%, 5.3%, and 9.3%, respectively. Test–retest variability of CBV left-to-right ratios was <7.4% across all territories. Corresponding values for CBF, CMRO2, and OEF were better, i.e., <4.5%, <4.0%, and <1.4%, respectively.
The test–retest variability of CMRO2 measurements derived from dynamic 15O PET scans is comparable to within-session test–retest variability derived from steady-state 15O PET scans. Excellent regional test–retest variability was observed for CBF, CMRO2, and OEF. Variability of absolute CBF and OEF measurements is probably affected by physiological day-to-day variability of CBF.