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image- derived input functions (IDIFs) represent a promising technique for a simpler and less invasive quantification of PET studies as compared to arterial cannulation. However, a number of limitations complicate the routine use of IDIFs in clinical research protocols and the full substitution of manual arterial samples by venous ones has hardly been evaluated. This study aims for a direct validation of IDIFs and venous data for the quantification of serotonin-1A receptor binding (5-HT(1A)) with [carbonyl-(11)C]WAY-100635 before and after hormone treatment. Fifteen PET measurements with arterial and venous blood sampling were obtained from 10 healthy women, 8 scans before and 7 after eight weeks of hormone replacement therapy. Image-derived input functions were derived automatically from cerebral blood vessels, corrected for partial volume effects and combined with venous manual samples from 10 min onward (IDIF+VIF). Corrections for plasma/whole-blood ratio and metabolites were done separately with arterial and venous samples. 5-HT(1A) receptor quantification was achieved with arterial input functions (AIF) and IDIF+VIF using a two-tissue compartment model. Comparison between arterial and venous manual blood samples yielded excellent reproducibility. Variability (VAR) was less than 10% for whole-blood activity (p>0.4) and below 2% for plasma to whole-blood ratios (p>0.4). Variability was slightly higher for parent fractions (VARmax=24% at 5 min, p<0.05 and VAR<13% after 20 min, p>0.1) but still within previously reported values. IDIFs after partial volume correction had peak values comparable to AIFs (mean difference Δ=-7.6 ± 16.9 kBq/ml, p>0.1), whereas AIFs exhibited a delay (Δ=4 ± 6.4s, p<0.05) and higher peak width (Δ=15.9 ± 5.2s, p<0.001). Linear regression analysis showed strong agreement for 5-HT(1A) binding as obtained with AIF and IDIF+VIF at baseline (R(2)=0.95), after treatment (R(2)=0.93) and when pooling all scans (R(2)=0.93), with slopes and intercepts in the range of 0.97 to 1.07 and -0.05 to 0.16, respectively. In addition to the region of interest analysis, the approach yielded virtually identical results for voxel-wise quantification as compared to the AIF. Despite the fast metabolism of the radioligand, manual arterial blood samples can be substituted by venous ones for parent fractions and plasma to whole-blood ratios. Moreover, the combination of image-derived and venous input functions provides a reliable quantification of 5-HT(1A) receptors. This holds true for 5-HT(1A) binding estimates before and after treatment for both regions of interest-based and voxel-wise modeling. Taken together, the approach provides less invasive receptor quantification by full independence of arterial cannulation. This offers great potential for the routine use in clinical research protocols and encourages further investigation for other radioligands with different kinetic characteristics. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Andreas Hahn, Lukas Nics, Pia Baldinger, Johanna Ungersböck, Peter Dolliner, Richard Frey, Wolfgang Birkfellner, Markus Mitterhauser, Wolfgang Wadsak, Georgios Karanikas, Siegfried Kasper, Rupert Lanzenberger. Combining image-derived and venous input functions enables quantification of serotonin-1A receptors with [carbonyl-11C]WAY-100635 independent of arterial sampling. NeuroImage. 2012 Aug 1;62(1):199-206

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PMID: 22579604

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