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J Nucl Med. 2007 Jun;48(6):932-45. Epub 2007 May 15.

Partial-volume effect in PET tumor imaging.

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  • 1UMR 678 INSERM-UPMC, CHU Pitié-Salpêtrière, Paris, France.


PET has the invaluable advantage of being intrinsically quantitative, enabling accurate measurements of tracer concentrations in vivo. In PET tumor imaging, indices characterizing tumor uptake, such as standardized uptake values, are becoming increasingly important, especially in the context of monitoring the response to therapy. However, when tracer uptake in small tumors is measured, large biases can be introduced by the partial-volume effect (PVE). The purposes of this article are to explain what PVE is and to describe its consequences in PET tumor imaging. The parameters on which PVE depends are reviewed. Actions that can be taken to reduce the errors attributable to PVE are described. Various PVE correction schemes are presented, and their applicability to PET tumor imaging is discussed.

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