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Int J Biomed Imaging. 2013;2013:576470. doi: 10.1155/2013/576470. Epub 2013 Oct 3.

Using dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging data to constrain a positron emission tomography kinetic model: theory and simulations.

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Department of Radiology, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL 60611, USA.


We show how dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (DCE-MRI) data can constrain a compartmental model for analyzing dynamic positron emission tomography (PET) data. We first develop the theory that enables the use of DCE-MRI data to separate whole tissue time activity curves (TACs) available from dynamic PET data into individual TACs associated with the blood space, the extravascular-extracellular space (EES), and the extravascular-intracellular space (EIS). Then we simulate whole tissue TACs over a range of physiologically relevant kinetic parameter values and show that using appropriate DCE-MRI data can separate the PET TAC into the three components with accuracy that is noise dependent. The simulations show that accurate blood, EES, and EIS TACs can be obtained as evidenced by concordance correlation coefficients >0.9 between the true and estimated TACs. Additionally, provided that the estimated DCE-MRI parameters are within 10% of their true values, the errors in the PET kinetic parameters are within approximately 20% of their true values. The parameters returned by this approach may provide new information on the transport of a tracer in a variety of dynamic PET studies.

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