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J Nucl Med. 2016 Oct;57(10):1642-1649. Epub 2016 May 26.

Accuracy and Precision of Partial-Volume Correction in Oncological PET/CT Studies.

Author information

1
Department of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, VU University Medical Centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
2
Department of Pulmonary Diseases, VU University Medical Centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
3
Department of Pulmonary Diseases, VU University Medical Centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands Department of Thoracic Oncology, Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
4
Department of Medical Oncology, VU University Medical Centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; and.
5
Department of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, VU University Medical Centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands Department of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, University Medical Centre Groningen, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands r.boellaard@umcg.nl.

Abstract

Accurate quantification of tracer uptake in small tumors using PET is hampered by the partial-volume effect as well as by the method of volume-of-interest (VOI) delineation. This study aimed to investigate the effect of partial-volume correction (PVC) combined with several VOI methods on the accuracy and precision of quantitative PET.

METHODS:

Four image-based PVC methods and resolution modeling (applied as PVC) were used in combination with several common VOI methods. Performance was evaluated using simulations, phantom experiments, and clinical repeatability studies. Simulations were based on a whole-body 18F-FDG PET scan in which differently sized spheres were placed in lung and mediastinum. A National Electrical Manufacturers Association NU2 quality phantom was used for the experiments. Repeatability data consisted of an 18F-FDG PET/CT study on 11 patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer and an 18F-fluoromethylcholine PET/CT study on 12 patients with metastatic prostate cancer.

RESULTS:

Phantom data demonstrated that most PVC methods were strongly affected by the applied resolution kernel, with accuracy differing by about 20%-50% between full-width-at-half-maximum settings of 5.0 and 7.5 mm. For all PVC methods, large differences in accuracy were seen among all VOI methods. Additionally, the image-based PVC methods were observed to have variable sensitivity to the accuracy of the VOI methods. For most PVC methods, accuracy was strongly affected by more than a 2.5-mm misalignment of true (simulated) VOI. When the optimal VOI method for each PVC method was used, high accuracy could be achieved. For example, resolution modeling for mediastinal lesions and iterative deconvolution for lung lesions were 99% ± 1.5% and 99% ± 0.9% accurate, respectively, for spheres 15-40 mm in diameter. Precision worsened slightly for resolution modeling and to a larger extent for some image-based PVC methods. Uncertainties in delineation propagated into uncertainties in PVC performance, as confirmed by the clinical data.

CONCLUSION:

The accuracy and precision of the tested PVC methods depended strongly on VOI method, resolution settings, contrast, and spatial alignment of the VOI. PVC has the potential to substantially improve the accuracy of tracer uptake assessment, provided that robust and accurate VOI methods become available. Commonly used delineation methods may not be adequate for this purpose.

KEYWORDS:

delineation; oncology; partial-volume correction; positron emission tomography; resolution modeling

PMID:
27230933
DOI:
10.2967/jnumed.116.173831
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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