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EJNMMI Phys. 2017 Dec;4(1):1. doi: 10.1186/s40658-016-0171-2. Epub 2017 Jan 6.

Quantitative myocardial blood flow imaging with integrated time-of-flight PET-MR.

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Nuclear Medicine & PET, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
PET Center/Medical Imaging Center, Uppsala University Hospital, 75185, Uppsala, Sweden.
Nuclear Medicine & PET, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
Center for Research and Development, Uppsala/Gävleborg County, Gävle, Sweden.
Department of Nuclear Medicine and PET, Århus University Hospitals, Århus, Denmark.
Radiology, Department of Surgical Sciences, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.



The use of integrated PET-MR offers new opportunities for comprehensive assessment of cardiac morphology and function. However, little is known on the quantitative accuracy of cardiac PET imaging with integrated time-of-flight PET-MR. The aim of the present work was to validate the GE Signa PET-MR scanner for quantitative cardiac PET perfusion imaging. Eleven patients (nine male; mean age 59 years; range 46-74 years) with known or suspected coronary artery disease underwent 15O-water PET scans at rest and during adenosine-induced hyperaemia on a GE Discovery ST PET-CT and a GE Signa PET-MR scanner. PET-MR images were reconstructed using settings recommended by the manufacturer, including time-of-flight (TOF). Data were analysed semi-automatically using Cardiac VUer software, resulting in both parametric myocardial blood flow (MBF) images and segment-based MBF values. Correlation and agreement between PET-CT-based and PET-MR-based MBF values for all three coronary artery territories were assessed using regression analysis and intra-class correlation coefficients (ICC). In addition to the cardiac PET-MR reconstruction protocol as recommended by the manufacturer, comparisons were made using a PET-CT resolution-matched reconstruction protocol both without and with TOF to assess the effect of time-of-flight and reconstruction parameters on quantitative MBF values.


Stress MBF data from one patient was excluded due to movement during the PET-CT scanning. Mean MBF values at rest and stress were (0.92 ± 0.12) and (2.74 ± 1.37) mL/g/min for PET-CT and (0.90 ± 0.23) and (2.65 ± 1.15) mL/g/min for PET-MR (p = 0.33 and p = 0.74). ICC between PET-CT-based and PET-MR-based regional MBF was 0.98. Image quality was improved with PET-MR as compared to PET-CT. ICC between PET-MR-based regional MBF with and without TOF and using different filter and reconstruction settings was 1.00.


PET-MR-based MBF values correlated well with PET-CT-based MBF values and the parametric PET-MR images were excellent. TOF and reconstruction settings had little impact on MBF values.


15O-water; Myocardial blood flow (MBF); PET-MR; Quantification; Time-of-flight (TOF)

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