Reusing baseline volumes of interest (VOI) by applying non-rigid and to some extent (local) rigid image registration showed good test-retest variability similar to delineating VOI on both scans individually. The aim of the present study was to compare response assessments and classifications based on various types of image registration with those based on (semi)-automatic tumour delineation.
Baseline (n = 13), early (n = 12) and late (n = 9) response (after one and three cycles of treatment, respectively) whole body [18F]fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) scans were acquired in subjects with advanced gastrointestinal malignancies. Lesions were identified for early and late response scans. VOI were drawn independently on all scans using an adaptive 50% threshold method (A50). In addition, various types of (non-)rigid image registration were applied to PET and/or CT images, after which baseline VOI were projected onto response scans. Response was classified using PET Response Criteria in Solid Tumors for maximum standardized uptake value (SUVmax), average SUV (SUVmean), peak SUV (SUVpeak), metabolically active tumour volume (MATV), total lesion glycolysis (TLG) and the area under a cumulative SUV-volume histogram curve (AUC).
Non-rigid PET-based registration and non-rigid CT-based registration followed by non-rigid PET-based registration (CTPET) did not show differences in response classifications compared to A50 for SUVmax and SUVpeak,, however, differences were observed for MATV, SUVmean, TLG and AUC. For the latter, these registrations demonstrated a poorer performance for small lung lesions (<2.8 ml), whereas A50 showed a poorer performance when another area with high uptake was close to the target lesion. All methods were affected by lesions with very heterogeneous tracer uptake.
Non-rigid PET- and CTPET-based image registrations may be used to classify response based on SUVmax and SUVpeak. For other quantitative measures future studies should assess which method is valid for response evaluations by correlating with survival data.
Positron emission tomography (PET) scanning with [18 F]fluorodeoxyglucose (18 F-FDG) is a useful diagnostic and prediction tool in brain tumors, but its value in childhood diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) is still unclear. For interpretation of 18 F-FDG PET results in DIPG, uptake values of the normal pons of children of increasing ages are mandatory. The aim of this study was to determine 18 F-FDG standard uptake value ratios (SUVr) of the normal pons and to compare these to those of DIPG.
We studied 36 subjects with a normal, non-affected pons (aged 5 to 23 years) and 6 patients with DIPG (aged 4 to 17 years) who underwent 18 F-FDG PET scanning. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was co-registered to define the regions of interest. SUVr and SUVrmax for the pons/cerebellum (SUVrp/c) and the pons/occipital lobe (SUVrp/o) were calculated. Independent-samples t tests and Mann–Whitney U tests were used to compare the mean SUVr and Pearson’s test for correlations.
For the normal pons, mean SUVrp/c and SUVrp/o were 0.65 (±0.054) and 0.51 (±0.056), respectively. No significant correlations were found between the SUVr of the normal pons and sex, age, nor pontine volume. A modest but statistically significant correlation was found between SUVr and post-injection time acquisition timing. For DIPG, mean SUVrp/c and SUVrp/o were 0.74 (±0.20) and 0.65 (±0.30), respectively, while mean SUVrp(max)/c and SUVrp(max)/o were 1.95 (±0.48) and 1.81 (±0.20), respectively.
The SUVr of the unaffected pons are strikingly constant between children, irrespective of sex and age, and can therefore be well used as a reference value for 18 F-FDG PET studies in DIPG.
Positron emission tomography; [18 F]fluorodeoxyglucose; Pontine glioma; Brain neoplasms; Reference values; Pons
We observed a disproportional 18 F-fluorothymidine (F-FLT) uptake in follicular lymphoma (FL) relative to its low cell proliferation. We tested the hypothesis that the ‘excess’ uptake of 18 F-FLT in FL is related to error-prone DNA repair and investigated whether this also contributes to 18 F-FLT uptake in diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL).
We performed immunohistochemical stainings to assess the pure DNA replication marker MIB-1 as well as markers of both DNA replication and repair like PCNA, TK-1 and RPA1 on lymph node biopsies of 27 FLs and 35 DLBCLs. In 7 FL and 15 DLBCL patients, 18 F-FLT-PET had been performed.
18 F-FLT uptake was lower in FL than in DLBCL (median SUVmax 5.7 vs. 8.9, p = 0,004), but the ratio of 18 F-FLT-SUVmax to percentage of MIB-1 positive cells was significantly higher in FL compared with DLBCL (p = 0.001). The median percentage of MIB-1 positive cells was 10% (range, 10% to 20%) in FL and 70% (40% to 80%) in DLBCL. In contrast, the median percentages of PCNA, TK-1 and RPA1 positive cells were 90% (range, 80 to 100), 90% (80 to 100) and 100% (80 to 100) in FL versus 90% (60 to 100), 90% (60 to 100) and 100% (80 to 100) in DLBCL, respectively.
This is the first demonstration of a striking discordance between 18 F-FLT uptake in FL and tumour cell proliferation. High expression of DNA replication and repair markers compared with the pure proliferation marker MIB-1 in FL suggests that this discordance might be due to error-prone DNA repair. While DNA repair-related 18 F-FLT uptake considerably contributes to 18 F-FLT uptake in FL, its contribution to 18 F-FLT uptake in highly proliferative DLBCL is small. This apparently high contribution of DNA repair to the 18 F-FLT signal in FL may hamper studies where 18 F-FLT is used to assess response to cytostatic therapy or to distinguish between FL and transformed lymphoma.
18 F-fluorothymidine uptake; Positron emission tomography; Follicular lymphoma; Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma; DNA repair
Pemetrexed is a thymidylate synthase (TS) inhibitor and is effective in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). 3′-deoxy-3′-[18F]fluorothymidine (18F-FLT), a proliferation marker, could potentially identify tumor specific TS-inhibition. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of pemetrexed-induced TS-inhibition on 18F-FLT uptake 4 hours after pemetrexed administration in metastatic NSCLC patients.
Fourteen NSCLC patients underwent dynamic 18F-FLT positron emission tomography (PET) scans at baseline and 4 hours after the first dose of pemetrexed. Volumes of interest were defined with a 41%, 50% and 70% threshold of the maximum pixel. Kinetic analysis and simplified measures were performed. At one, two, four and six hours after pemetrexed, plasma deoxyuridine was measured as systemic indicator of TS-inhibition. Tumor response measured with response evaluation criteria in solid tumors (RECIST), time to progression (TTP) and overall survival (OS) were determined.
Eleven patients had evaluable 18F-FLT PET scans at baseline and 4 hours after pemetrexed. Two patients had increased 18F-FLT uptake of 35% and 31% after pemetrexed, whereas two other patients had decreased uptake of 31%. In the remaining seven patients 18F-FLT uptake did not change beyond test-retest borders. In all patients deoxyuridine levels raised after administration of pemetrexed, implicating pemetrexed-induced TS-inhibition. 18F-FLT uptake in bone marrow was significantly increased 4 hours after pemetrexed administration. Six weeks after the start of treatment 5 patients had partial response, 4 stable disease and 2 progressive disease. Median TTP was 4.2 months (range 3.0–7.4 months); median OS was 13.0 months (range 5.1–30.8 months). Changes in 18F-FLT uptake were not predictive for tumor response, TTP or OS.
Measuring TS-inhibition in a clinical setting 4 hours after pemetrexed revealed a non-systematic change in 18F-FLT uptake within the tumor. No significant association with tumor response, TTP or OS was observed.
To investigate whether time-trends of enhanced [18F]Fluoromethylcholine ([18F]FCH) in lymph nodes (LN) of prostate cancer (PCa) patients can help to discriminate reactive from malignant ones, and whether single time point standardized uptake value (SUV) measurements also suffice.
25 PCa patients with inguinal (presumed benign) and enlarged pelvic LN (presumed malignant) showing enhanced [18F]FCH uptake at dual-phase PET-CT were analyzed. Associations between LN status (benign versus malignant) and SUVmax and SUVmeanA50, determined at 2 min (early) and 30 min (late) post injection, were assessed. We considered two time-trends of [18F]FCH uptake: type A (SUV early > SUV late) and type B (SUV late ≥ SUV early). Histopathology and/or follow-up were used to confirm the assumption that LN with type A pattern are benign, and LN with type B pattern malignant.
Analysis of 54 nodes showed that LN status, time-trends, and ‘late’ (30 min p.i.) SUVmax and SUVmeanA50 parameters were strongly associated (P<0.0001). SUVmax relative difference was the best LN status predictor. All but one inguinal LN showed a decreasing [18F]FCH uptake over time (pattern A), while 95% of the pelvic nodes presented a stable or increasing uptake (pattern B) type.
Time-trends of enhanced [18F]FCH uptake can help to characterize lymph nodes in prostate cancer patients. Single time-point SUV measurements, 30 min p.i., may be a reasonable alternative for predicting benign versus malignant status of lymph nodes, but this remains to be validated in non-enlarged pelvic lymph nodes.
Positron emission tomography (PET) may be useful for defining the gross tumour volume for radiation treatment planning and for response monitoring of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients. The purpose of this study was to compare tumour sizes obtained from CT- and various more commonly available PET-based tumour delineation methods to pathology findings.
Retrospective non-respiratory gated whole body [18F]-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose PET/CT studies from 19 NSCLC patients were used. Several (semi-)automatic PET-based tumour delineation methods and manual CT-based delineation were used to assess the maximum tumour diameter.
50%, adaptive 41% threshold-based and contrast-oriented delineation methods showed good agreement with pathology after removing two outliers (R2=0.82). An absolute SUV threshold of 2.5 also showed a good agreement with pathology after the removal of 5 outliers (R2: 0.79), but showed a significant overestimation in the maximum diameter (19.8 mm, p<0.05). Adaptive 50%, relative threshold level and gradient-based methods did not show any outliers, provided only small, non-significant differences in maximum tumour diameter (<4.7 mm, p>0.10), and showed fair correlation (R2>0.62) with pathology. Although adaptive 70% threshold-based methods showed underestimation compared to pathology (36%), it provided the best precision (SD: 14%) together with good correlation (R2=0.81). Good correlation between CT delineation and pathology was observed (R2=0.77). However, CT delineation showed a significant overestimation compared with pathology (3.8 mm, p<0.05).
PET-based tumour delineation methods provided tumour sizes in agreement with pathology and may therefore be useful to define the (metabolically most) active part of the tumour for radiotherapy and response monitoring purposes.
Tumour delineation; Tumour diameter; FDG PET; Non-small cell lung cancer
Positron Emission Tomography - Computer Tomography (PET-CT) is an interesting imaging technique to visualize Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) activity using specific PET tracers. Previous studies have shown that the PET tracers [18F]FDG and [11C](R)PK11195 can target inflammation (synovitis) in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and may therefore be useful in AS. Another interesting tracer for AS is [18F]Fluoride, which targets bone formation. In a pilot setting, the potential of PET-CT in imaging AS activity was tested using different tracers, with Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and conventional radiographs as reference.
In a stepwise approach different PET tracers were investigated. First, whole body [18F]FDG and [11C](R)PK11195 PET-CT scans were obtained of ten AS patients fulfilling the modified New York criteria. According to the BASDAI five of these patients had low and five had high disease activity. Secondly, an extra PET-CT scan using [18F]Fluoride was made of two additional AS patients with high disease activity. MRI scans of the total spine and sacroiliac joints were performed, and conventional radiographs of the total spine and sacroiliac joints were available for all patients. Scans and radiographs were visually scored by two observers blinded for clinical data.
No increased [18F]FDG and [11C](R)PK11195 uptake was noticed on PET-CT scans of the first 10 patients. In contrast, MRI demonstrated a total of five bone edema lesions in three out of 10 patients. In the two additional AS patients scanned with [18F]Fluoride PET-CT, [18F]Fluoride depicted 17 regions with increased uptake in both vertebral column and sacroiliac joints. In contrast, [18F]FDG depicted only three lesions, with an uptake of five times lower compared to [18F]Fluoride, and again no [11C](R)PK11195 positive lesions were found. In these two patients, MRI detected nine lesions and six out of nine matched with the anatomical position of [18F]Fluoride uptake. Conventional radiographs showed structural bony changes in 11 out of 17 [18F]Fluoride PET positive lesions.
Our PET-CT data suggest that AS activity is reflected by bone activity (formation) rather than inflammation. The results also show the potential value of PET-CT for imaging AS activity using the bone tracer [18F]Fluoride. In contrast to active RA, inflammation tracers [18F]FDG and [11C](R)PK11195 appeared to be less useful for AS imaging.
Positron emission tomography using 3′-deoxy-3′-[18F]fluorothymidine ([18F]FLT) has been suggested as a means for monitoring response to chemotherapy. The aim of this study was to evaluate the validity of simplified uptake measures for assessing response to chemotherapy using [18F]FLT in locally advanced breast cancer (LABC).
Fifteen LABC patients underwent dynamic [18F]FLT scans both prior to and after the first cycle of chemotherapy with fluorouracil, epirubicin or doxorubicin, and cyclophosphamide. The net uptake rate constant of [18F]FLT, Ki, determined by non-linear regression (NLR) of an irreversible two-tissue compartment model was used as the gold standard. In addition to Patlak graphical analysis, standardised uptake values (SUV) and tumour-to-whole blood ratio (TBR) were used for analysing [18F]FLT data. Correlations and relationships between simplified uptake measures and NLR before and after chemotherapy were assessed using regression analysis.
No significant differences in both pre- and post-chemotherapy relationships between any of the simplified uptake measures and NLR were found. However, changes in SUV between baseline and post-therapy scans showed a significant negative bias and slope less than one, while TBR did not.
In LABC, TBR instead of SUV may be preferred for monitoring response to chemotherapy with [18F]FLT.
PET; FLT; SUV; Modelling; Response monitoring
Positron emission tomography (PET) with 89Zr-ibritumomab tiuxetan can be used to monitor biodistribution of 90Y-ibritumomab tiuxetan as shown in mice. The aim of this study was to assess biodistribution and radiation dosimetry of 90Y-ibritumomab tiuxetan in humans on the basis of 89Zr-ibritumomab tiuxetan imaging, to evaluate whether co-injection of a therapeutic amount of 90Y-ibritumomab tiuxetan influences biodistribution of 89Zr-ibritumomab tiuxetan and whether pre-therapy scout scans with 89Zr-ibritumomab tiuxetan can be used to predict biodistribution of 90Y-ibritumomab tiuxetan and the dose-limiting organ during therapy.
Seven patients with relapsed B-cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma scheduled for autologous stem cell transplantation underwent PET scans at 1, 72 and 144 h after injection of ~70 MBq 89Zr-ibritumomab tiuxetan and again 2 weeks later after co-injection of 15 MBq/kg or 30 MBq/kg 90Y-ibritumomab tiuxetan. Volumes of interest were drawn over liver, kidneys, lungs, spleen and tumours. Ibritumomab tiuxetan organ absorbed doses were calculated using OLINDA. Red marrow dosimetry was based on blood samples. Absorbed doses to tumours were calculated using exponential fits to the measured data.
The highest 90Y absorbed dose was observed in liver (3.2 ± 1.8 mGy/MBq) and spleen (2.9 ± 0.7 mGy/MBq) followed by kidneys and lungs. The red marrow dose was 0.52 ± 0.04 mGy/MBq, and the effective dose was 0.87 ± 0.14 mSv/MBq. Tumour absorbed doses ranged from 8.6 to 28.6 mGy/MBq. Correlation between predicted pre-therapy and therapy organ absorbed doses as based on 89Zr-ibritumomab tiuxetan images was high (Pearson correlation coefficient r = 0.97). No significant difference between pre-therapy and therapy tumour absorbed doses was found, but correlation was lower (r = 0.75).
Biodistribution of 89Zr-ibritumomab tiuxetan is not influenced by simultaneous therapy with 90Y-ibritumomab tiuxetan, and 89Zr-ibritumomab tiuxetan scout scans can thus be used to predict biodistribution and dose-limiting organ during therapy. Absorbed doses to spleen were lower than those previously estimated using 111In-ibritumomab tiuxetan. The dose-limiting organ in patients undergoing stem cell transplantation is the liver.
Immuno-PET; Molecular imaging; Radioimmunotherapy; Ibritumomab tiuxetan; 89Zr; 90Y; Dosimetry; Lymphoma
Metabolic tumor volume assessment using positron-emission tomography [PET] may be of interest for both target volume definition in radiotherapy and monitoring response to therapy. It has been reported, however, that metabolic volumes derived from images of metabolic rate of glucose (generated using Patlak analysis) are smaller than those derived from standardized uptake value [SUV] images. The purpose of this study was to systematically compare metabolic tumor volume assessments derived from SUV and Patlak images using a variety of (semi-)automatic tumor delineation methods in order to identify methods that can be used reliably on (whole body) SUV images.
Dynamic [18F]-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose [FDG] PET data from 10 lung and 8 gastrointestinal cancer patients were analyzed retrospectively. Metabolic tumor volumes were derived from both Patlak and SUV images using five different types of tumor delineation methods, based on various thresholds or on a gradient.
In general, most tumor delineation methods provided more outliers when metabolic volumes were derived from SUV images rather than Patlak images. Only gradient-based methods showed more outliers for Patlak-based tumor delineation. Median measured metabolic volumes derived from SUV images were larger than those derived from Patlak images (up to 59% difference) when using a fixed percentage threshold method. Tumor volumes agreed reasonably well (< 26% difference) when applying methods that take local signal-to-background ratio [SBR] into account.
Large differences may exist in metabolic volumes derived from static and dynamic FDG image data. These differences depend strongly on the delineation method used. Delineation methods that correct for local SBR provide the most consistent results between SUV and Patlak images.
tumor delineation; tumor volume; FDG PET; Patlak; SUV
The incremental value of CAC over traditional risk factors to predict coronary vasodilator dysfunction and inherent myocardial blood flow (MBF) impairment is only scarcely documented (MBF). The aim of this study was therefore to evaluate the relationship between CAC content, hyperemic MBF, and coronary flow reserve (CFR) in patients undergoing hybrid 15O-water PET/CT imaging.
We evaluated 173 (mean age 56 ± 10, 78 men) patients with a low to intermediate likelihood for coronary artery disease (CAD), without a documented history of CAD, undergoing vasodilator stress 15O-water PET/CT and CAC scoring. Obstructive coronary artery disease was excluded by means of invasive (n = 44) or CT-based coronary angiography (n = 129).
91 of 173 patients (52%) had a CAC score of zero. Of those with CAC, the CAC score was 0.1-99.9, 100-399.9, and ≥400 in 31%, 12%, and 5% of patients, respectively. Global CAC score showed significant inverse correlation with hyperemic MBF (r = −0.32, P < .001). With increasing CAC score, there was a decline in hyperemic MBF on a per-patient basis [3.70, 3.30, 2.68, and 2.53 mL · min−1 · g−1, with total CAC score of 0, 0.1-99.9, 100-399.9, and ≥400, respectively (P < .001)]. CFR showed a stepwise decline with increasing levels of CAC (3.70, 3.32, 2.94, and 2.93, P < .05). Multivariate analysis, including age, BMI, and CAD risk factors, revealed that only age, male gender, BMI, and hypercholesterolemia were associated with reduced stress perfusion. Furthermore, only diabetes and age were independently associated with CFR.
In patients without significant obstructive CAD, a greater CAC burden is associated with a decreased hyperemic MBF and CFR. However, this association disappeared after adjustment for traditional CAD risk factors. These results suggest that CAC does not add incremental value regarding hyperemic MBF and CFR over established CAD risk factors in patients without obstructive CAD.
Coronary artery calcium; hyperemic myocardial blood flow; coronary risk factors
There has been increasing interest in quantitative myocardial blood flow (MBF) imaging over the last years and it is expected to become a routinely used technique in clinical practice. Positron emission tomography (PET) using [15O]H2O is the established gold standard for quantification of MBF in vivo. A fundamental issue when performing quantitative MBF imaging is to define the limits of MBF in a clinically suitable population. The aims of the present study were to determine the limits of MBF and to determine the relationship among coronary artery disease (CAD) risk factors, gender and MBF in a predominantly symptomatic patient cohort without significant CAD.
A total of 128 patients (mean age 54 ± 10 years, 50 men) with a low to intermediate pretest likelihood of CAD were referred for noninvasive evaluation of CAD using a hybrid PET/computed tomography (PET/CT) scanner. MBF was quantified with [15O]H2O at rest and during adenosine-induced hyperaemia. Obstructive CAD was excluded in these patients by means of invasive or CT-based coronary angiography.
Global average baseline MBF values were 0.91 ± 0.34 and 1.09 ± 0.30 ml·min−1·g−1 (range 0.54–2.35 and 0.59–2.75 ml·min−1·g−1) in men and women, respectively (p < 0.01). However, no gender-dependent difference in baseline MBF was seen following correction for rate–pressure product (0.98 ± 0.45 and 1.09 ± 0.30 ml·min−1·g−1 in men and women, respectively; p = 0.08). Global average hyperaemic MBF values were 3.44 ± 1.20 ml·min−1·g−1 in the whole study population, and 2.90 ± 0.85 and 3.78 ± 1.27 ml·min−1·g−1 (range 1.52–5.22 and 1.72–8.15 ml·min−1·g−1) in men and women, respectively (p < 0.001). Multivariate analysis identified male gender, age and body mass index as having an independently negative impact on hyperaemic MBF.
Gender, age and body mass index substantially influence reference values and should be corrected for when interpreting hyperaemic MBF values.
Myocardial blood flow; Positron emission tomography; Non-obstructive CAD; CAD risk factors; Gender
Delineation of tumour boundaries is important for quantification of [18F]fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) studies and for definition of biological target volumes in radiotherapy. Several (semi-)automatic tumour delineation methods have been proposed, but these methods differ substantially in estimating tumour volume and their performance may be affected by imaging parameters. The main purpose of this study was to explore the performance dependence of various (semi-)automatic tumour delineation methods on different imaging parameters, i.e. reconstruction parameters, noise levels and tumour characteristics, and thereby the need for standardization or inter-institute calibration.
Six different types of delineation methods were evaluated by assessing accuracy and precision in estimating tumour volume from simulations and phantom experiments. The evaluated conditions were various tumour sizes, iterative reconstruction algorithm settings and image filtering, tumour to background ratios (TBR), noise levels and region growing initializations.
The accuracy of all automatic delineation methods was influenced when imaging parameters were varied. The performance of all tumour delineation methods depends on variation of TBR, image resolution and image noise level, and to a lesser extent on number of iterations during image reconstruction or the initialization method of the region generation. For sphere sizes larger than 20 mm diameter a contrast-oriented method provided the most accurate results, on average, over all simulated conditions. For threshold-based methods the accuracy of tumour delineation improved after image denoising/filtering.
The accuracy and precision of all studied tumour delineation methods was affected by physiological and imaging parameters. The latter illustrates the need for optimizing imaging parameters and/or for careful calibration and optimization of delineation methods.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00259-011-1899-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Tumour delineation; Volume of interest (VOI); [18F]FDG; Positron emission tomography (PET); Tumour volume
Standardized uptake values (SUV) are commonly used for quantification of whole-body [18F]fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) studies. Changes in SUV following therapy, however, only provide a proper measure of response in case of homogeneous FDG uptake in the tumour. The purpose of this study was therefore to implement and characterize a method that enables quantification of heterogeneity in tumour FDG uptake.
Cumulative SUV-volume histograms (CSH), describing % of total tumour volume above % threshold of maximum SUV (SUVmax), were calculated. The area under a CSH curve (AUC) is a quantitative index of tumour uptake heterogeneity, with lower AUC corresponding to higher degrees of heterogeneity. Simulations of homogeneous and heterogeneous responses were performed to assess the value of AUC-CSH for measuring uptake and/or response heterogeneity. In addition, partial volume correction and image denoising was applied prior to calculating AUC-CSH. Finally, the method was applied to a number of human FDG scans.
Partial volume correction and noise reduction improved CSH curves. Both simulations and clinical examples showed that AUC-CSH values corresponded with level of tumour heterogeneity and/or heterogeneity in response. In contrast, this correspondence was not seen with SUVmax alone. The results indicate that the main advantage of AUC-CSH above other measures, such as 1/COV (coefficient of variation), is the possibility to measure or normalize AUC-CSH in different ways.
AUC-CSH might be used as a quantitative index of heterogeneity in tracer uptake. In response monitoring studies it can be used to address heterogeneity in response.
Positron emission tomography (PET); Standardized uptake value (SUV); Intratumoural heterogeneity; Cumulative SUV-volume histogram (CSH); Intensity-volume histograms (IVH)
Imaging with positron emission tomography (PET) using 18F-2-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose (FDG) plays an increasingly important role for response assessment in oncology. Several methods for quantifying FDG PET results exist. The goal of this study was to analyse and compare various semi-quantitative measures for response assessment with full kinetic analysis, specifically in assessment of novel therapies.
Baseline and response dynamic FDG studies from two different longitudinal studies (study A: seven subjects with lung cancer and study B: six subjects with gastrointestinal cancer) with targeted therapies were reviewed. Quantification of tumour uptake included full kinetic methods, i.e. nonlinear regression (NLR) and Patlak analyses, and simplified measures such as the simplified kinetic method (SKM) and standardized uptake value (SUV). An image-derived input function was used for NLR and Patlak analysis.
There were 18 and 9 lesions defined for two response monitoring studies (A and B). In all cases there was excellent correlation between Patlak- and NLR-derived response (R2 > 0.96). Percentage changes seen with SUV were significantly different from those seen with Patlak for both studies (p < 0.05). After correcting SUV for plasma glucose, SUV and Patlak responses became similar for study A, but large differences remained for study B. Further analysis revealed that differences in responses amongst methods in study B were primarily due to changes in the arterial input functions.
Use of simplified methods for assessment of drug efficacy or treatment response may provide different results than those seen with full kinetic analysis.
FDG PET; SUV; Patlak; NLR; Response monitoring
The aim of the study was to assess the interobserver variability in chest computed tomography (CT) and whole body 2-deoxy-2-[18F]fluoro-d-glucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) screening for distant metastases in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) patients.
Chest CT and whole body FDG-PET of 69 HNSCC patients with high-risk factors who underwent screening for distant metastases were analyzed. All scans were independently read by two experienced radiologists or nuclear physicians who were blinded to the other examinations and follow-up results.
A kappa of 0.516 was found for assessment of size on CT. Kappa values for origin and susceptibility of 0.406 and 0.512 for CT and 0.834 and 0.939 for PET were found, respectively. The overall conclusions had a kappa of 0.517–0.634 for CT and 0.820–1.000 for PET.
In screening for distant metastases in HNSCC patients with high-risk factors, chest CT readings had a reasonable to substantial agreement, while PET readings showed an almost perfect agreement. These findings suggest that for optimal assessment in clinical practice, PET most often can be scored by one observer, but CT should probably more often be scored by different observers in consensus or combined with PET.
CT; FDG-PET; Interobserver agreement; Distant metastases; Head and neck cancer
Quantitative accuracy of positron emission tomography (PET) is affected by partial volume effects resulting in increased underestimation of the standardized uptake value (SUV) with decreasing tumour volume. The purpose of the present study was to assess accuracy and precision of different partial volume correction (PVC) methods.
Three methods for PVC were evaluated: (1) inclusion of the point spread function (PSF) within the reconstruction, (2) iterative deconvolution of PET images and (3) calculation of spill-in and spill-out factors based on tumour masks. Simulations were based on a mathematical phantom with tumours of different sizes and shapes. Phantom experiments were performed in 2-D mode using the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) NU2 image quality phantom containing six differently sized spheres. Clinical studies (2-D mode) included a test-retest study consisting of 10 patients with stage IIIB and IV non-small cell lung cancer and a response monitoring study consisting of 15 female breast cancer patients. In all studies tumour or sphere volumes of interest (VOI) were generated using VOI based on adaptive relative thresholds.
Simulations and experiments provided similar results. All methods were able to accurately recover true SUV within 10% for spheres equal to and larger than 1 ml. Reconstruction-based recovery, however, provided up to twofold better precision than image-based methods. Clinical studies showed that PVC increased SUV by 5–80% depending on tumour size. Test-retest variability slightly worsened from 9.8 ± 6.5 without to 10.8 ± 7.9% with PVC. Finally, PVC resulted in slightly smaller SUV responses, i.e. from −30.5% without to −26.3% with PVC after the first cycle of treatment (p < 0.01).
PVC improves accuracy of SUV without decreasing (clinical) test-retest variability significantly and it has a small, but significant effect on observed tumour responses. Reconstruction-based PVC outperforms image-based methods, but requires dedicated reconstruction software. Image-based methods are good alternatives because of their ease of implementation and their similar performance in clinical studies.
Partial volume correction; Positron emission tomography (PET); FDG; Standardized uptake value (SUV); Oncology
The aim of this guideline is to provide a minimum standard for the acquisition and interpretation of PET and PET/CT scans with [18F]-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG). This guideline will therefore address general information about [18F]-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography-computed tomography (PET/CT) and is provided to help the physician and physicist to assist to carrying out, interpret, and document quantitative FDG PET/CT examinations, but will concentrate on the optimisation of diagnostic quality and quantitative information.
Guideline; FDG; PET; PET/CT; Tumour; Oncology; Quantification; QC; QA
The added value of baseline positron emission tomography (PET) scans in therapy evaluation in malignant lymphoma is unclear. In guidelines, baseline PET is recommended but not mandatory except in lymphoma types with variable fluoro-d-glucose uptake. The aim of the present study was to test the hypothesis that adding baseline PET information decreases false positive readings with posttreatment PET and improves observer agreement.
Forty-four patients (mean age 56 years, standard deviation 14) with malignant lymphoma were included. Two nuclear medicine physicians retrospectively and independently evaluated the posttreatment PET, 3 weeks later followed by paired reading of baseline and posttreatment PET. For each PET, 22 regions were classified as positive, negative, or equivocal, resulting in an overall PET score of positive, unclear, or negative. In case of discrepancies, consensus was reached.
Addition of baseline to posttreatment PET evaluation affected the classification of metabolic response in 34% of malignant lymphoma patients treated with first-line chemotherapy. In one out of seven patients, addition of the baseline PET lead to opposite conclusions (95% confidence interval 4–14). False positivity was reduced by adding the baseline scan information, but the effect on false negativity was similar. In addition, the amount of unclear classifications halved after paired reading. Observer agreement did not improve upon adding the baseline PET data.
Without any other clinical information, pretreatment PET facilitates changes the interpretation of a posttreatment PET in a third of the patients, resulting in both upgrading and downgrading of the posttreatment situation of a malignant lymphoma patient. If these results are confirmed for PET–computed tomography systems, they favor the addition of baseline PET to the current work-up of patients with malignant lymphoma.
FDG PET; Malignant lymphoma; Therapy evaluation; Baseline PET; Hodgkin’s disease; Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
A distinctive pattern of physiological symmetrical uptake of 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) in the neck and upper chest region is a phenomenon that is sometimes observed on positron emission tomography (PET) scans of some oncologic patients. Initially, it was assumed to be muscle uptake secondary to patient anxiety or tension, which could be prevented by diazepam treatment. However, PET–computed tomography data have shown that 18F-FDG uptake is not restricted to the musculature but is also localised within the non-muscular soft tissue, such as brown adipose tissue. The efficacy of benzodiazepine treatment to reduce this uptake has not been well established. Therefore, a randomised controlled trial was conducted to decide whether diazepam would decrease physiological 18F-FDG uptake in the neck and upper chest region (FDG-NUC).
A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was conducted to assess the effect on FDG-NUC of 5 mg diazepam, given orally 1 h before 18F-FDG injection. Patients younger than 40 years, having or suspected to have a malignancy, were eligible for inclusion. The primary endpoint was FDG-NUC, as assessed by visual analysis of whole-body PET scans by two independent observers. The secondary endpoint was clinical relevance of FDG-NUC.
Fifty-two patients were included between September 2003 and January 2005. Twenty-eight patients (54%) received placebo; 24 (46%) received diazepam. FDG-NUC was seen in 25% of the patients in the diazepam group versus 29% in the placebo group. This difference was not statistically significant.
No beneficial effect of administration of diazepam could be established. Pre-medication with benzodiazepines to diminish physiological uptake of 18F-FDG in the neck and upper chest region is not indicated.
Positron emission tomography; 18F-FDG; Neck and upper chest region; Diazepam; Randomised controlled trial
The aim of this study was to estimate the cost-effectiveness of 18FDG-PET in the selection for direct laryngoscopy in patients with suspicion of recurrent laryngeal carcinoma after radiotherapy. The direct medical costs of 30 patients with suspicion of a recurrence were calculated from the first visit where suspicion was raised until one year after. A conventional strategy, in which all these patients underwent direct laryngoscopy, was compared to an 18FDG-PET strategy in which only patients with a positive or equivocal 18FDG-PET underwent direct laryngoscopy. A sensitivity analysis was performed to examine the influence of the type of camera and ‘setting’. The mean costs of an 18FDG-PET strategy were €399 less than a direct laryngoscopy strategy. The type of camera and setting had no influence. In patients with suspicion for recurrent laryngeal carcinoma after radiotherapy, 18FDG-PET seems to be effective and less costly in selecting patients for direct laryngoscopy.
Cost-effectiveness; Recurrent laryngeal carcinoma; Radiotherapy; 18FDG-PET
The purpose of the study was to compare early changes in blood flow (BF) and glucose metabolism (MRglu) in metastatic breast cancer lesions of patients treated with chemotherapy.
Eleven women with stage IV cancer and lesions in breast, lymph nodes, liver, and bone were scanned before treatment and after the first course of chemotherapy. BF, distribution volume of water (Vd), MRglu/BF ratio, MRglu and its corresponding rate constants K1 and k3 were compared per tumor lesion before and during therapy.
At baseline, mean BF and MRglu varied among different tumor lesions, but mean Vd was comparable in all lesions. After one course of chemotherapy, mean MRglu decreased in all lesions. Mean BF decreased in breast and node lesions and increased in bone lesions. Vd decreased in breast and nodes, but did not change in bone lesions. The MRglu/BF ratio decreased in breast and bone lesions and increased in node lesions. In patients with multiple tumor lesions BF and MRglu response could be very heterogeneous, even within similar types of metastases. BF and MRglu increased in lesions of patients who experienced early disease progression or showed no response during clinical follow-up.
BF and MRglu changes separately give unique information on different aspects of tumor response to chemotherapy. Changes in BF and MRglu parameters can be remarkably heterogeneous in patients with multiple lesions.
Positron emission tomography; Blood flow; Glucose metabolism; Breast cancer; Metastases
Surgical resection is the preferred treatment of potentially curable esophageal cancer. To improve long term patient outcome, many institutes apply neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy. In a large proportion of patients no response to chemoradiotherapy is achieved. These patients suffer from toxic and ineffective neoadjuvant treatment, while appropriate surgical therapy is delayed. For this reason a diagnostic test that allows for accurate prediction of tumor response early during chemoradiotherapy is of crucial importance. CT-scan and endoscopic ultrasound have limited accuracy in predicting histopathologic tumor response. Data suggest that metabolic changes in tumor tissue as measured by FDG-PET predict response better. This study aims to compare FDG-PET and CT-scan for the early prediction of non-response to preoperative chemoradiotherapy in patients with potentially curable esophageal cancer.
Prognostic accuracy study, embedded in a randomized multicenter Dutch trial comparing neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy for 5 weeks followed by surgery versus surgery alone for esophageal cancer. This prognostic accuracy study is performed only in the neoadjuvant arm of the randomized trial. In 6 centers, 150 consecutive patients will be included over a 3 year period. FDG-PET and CT-scan will be performed before and 2 weeks after the start of the chemoradiotherapy. All patients complete the 5 weeks regimen of neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy, regardless the test results. Pathological examination of the surgical resection specimen will be used as reference standard. Responders are defined as patients with < 10% viable residual tumor cells (Mandard-score).
Difference in accuracy (area under ROC curve) and negative predictive value between FDG-PET and CT-scan are primary endpoints. Furthermore, an economic evaluation will be performed, comparing survival and costs associated with the use of FDG-PET (or CT-scan) to predict tumor response with survival and costs of neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy without prediction of response (reference strategy).
The NEOPEC-trial could be the first sufficiently powered study that helps justify implementation of FDG-PET for response-monitoring in patients with esophageal cancer in clinical practice.
To test the extent of variation among nuclear medicine physicians with respect to staging non-small cell lung cancer with positron emission tomography (PET).
Two groups of nuclear medicine physicians with different levels of PET experience reviewed 30 PET scans. They were requested to identify and localize suspicious mediastinal lymph nodes (MLN) using standardized algorithms. Results were compared between the two groups, between individuals, and with expert reading.
Overall we found good interobserver agreement (kappa 0.65). Experience with PET translated into a better ability to localize MLN stations (68% vs. 51%, respectively), and experienced readers appeared to be more familiar with translating PET readings into clinically useful statements.
Although our results suggest that clinical experience with PET increases observers’ ability to read and interpret results from PET adequately, there is room for improvement. Experience with PET does not necessarily improve the accuracy of image interpretation.
FDG-PET scanning; Interobserver variation; Lung cancer; Experience; Mediastinal lymph node metastases
To perform a systematic review and meta-analysis to determine the diagnostic accuracy of attenuation-corrected (AC) vs. nonattenuation-corrected (NAC) 2-deoxy-2-[F-18]fluoro-d-glucose-positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) in oncological patients.
Following a comprehensive search of the literature, two reviewers independently assessed the methodological quality of eligible studies. The diagnostic value of AC was studied through its sensitivity/specificity compared to histology, and by comparing the relative lesion detection rate reported with NAC-PET vs. AC, for full-ring and dual-head coincidence PET (FR- and DH-PET, respectively).
Twelve studies were included. For FR-PET, the pooled sensitivity/specificity on a patient basis was 64/97% for AC and 62/99% for NAC, respectively. Pooled lesion detection with NAC vs. AC was 98% [95% confidence interval (95% CI): 96–99%, n = 1,012 lesions] for FR-PET, and 88% (95% CI:81–94%, n = 288 lesions) for DH-PET.
Findings suggest similar sensitivity/specificity and lesion detection for NAC vs. AC FR-PET and significantly higher lesion detection for NAC vs. AC DH-PET.
Deoxyglucose (MeSH); Tomography, X-ray computed (MeSH); Tomography, emission-computed (MeSH); Neoplasms (MeSH); Human (MeSH); Systematic review (MeSH); Attenuation correction; Positron emission tomography