Quantitative myocardial perfusion PET parametric imaging at the voxel-level

Hassan Mohy-Ud-Din, Martin A. Lodge, Arman Rahmim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Quantitative myocardial perfusion (MP) PET has the potential to enhance detection of early stages of atherosclerosis or microvascular dysfunction, characterization of flow-limiting effects of coronary artery disease (CAD), and identification of balanced reduction of flow due to multivessel stenosis. We aim to enable quantitative MP-PET at the individual voxel level, which has the potential to allow enhanced visualization and quantification of myocardial blood flow (MBF) and flow reserve (MFR) as computed from uptake parametric images. This framework is especially challenging for the 82Rb radiotracer. The short half-life enables fast serial imaging and high patient throughput; yet, the acquired dynamic PET images suffer from high noise-levels introducing large variability in uptake parametric images and, therefore, in the estimates of MBF and MFR. Robust estimation requires substantial post-smoothing of noisy data, degrading valuable functional information of physiological and pathological importance. We present a feasible and robust approach to generate parametric images at the voxel-level that substantially reduces noise without significant loss of spatial resolution. The proposed methodology, denoted physiological clustering, makes use of the functional similarity of voxels to penalize deviation of voxel kinetics from physiological partners. The results were validated using extensive simulations (with transmural and non-transmural perfusion defects) and clinical studies. Compared to post-smoothing, physiological clustering depicted enhanced quantitative noise versus bias performance as well as superior recovery of perfusion defects (as quantified by CNR) with minimal increase in bias. Overall, parametric images obtained from the proposed methodology were robust in the presence of high-noise levels as manifested in the voxel time-activity-curves.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6013-6037
Number of pages25
JournalPhysics in medicine and biology
Volume60
Issue number15
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 7 2015

Keywords

  • cardiovascular diseases
  • coronary flow reserve
  • myocardial perfusion
  • parametric imaging
  • physiological clustering
  • positron emission tomography
  • robust parameter estimation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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