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Neuroimage. 2019 Aug 1;196:161-172. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2019.04.034. Epub 2019 Apr 11.

Functional resting-state brain connectivity is accompanied by dynamic correlations of application-dependent [18F]FDG PET-tracer fluctuations.

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Werner Siemens Imaging Center, Department of Preclinical Imaging and Radiopharmacy, Eberhard Karls University Tuebingen, Germany. Electronic address:
Werner Siemens Imaging Center, Department of Preclinical Imaging and Radiopharmacy, Eberhard Karls University Tuebingen, Germany.
Department of Biomedical Engineering, New Jersey Institute of Technology, University Heights, Newark, NJ, USA.


Brain function is characterized by a convolution of various biochemical and physiological processes, raising the interest whether resting-state functional connectivity derived from hemodynamic scales shows underlying metabolic synchronies. Increasing evidence suggests that metabolic connectivity based on glucose consumption associated PET recordings may serve as a marker of cognitive functions and neuropathologies. However, to what extent fMRI-derived resting-state brain connectivity can also be characterized based on dynamic fluctuations of glucose metabolism and how metabolic connectivity is influenced by [18F]FDG pharmacokinetics remains unsolved. Simultaneous PET/MRI measurements were performed in a total of 26 healthy male Lewis rats. Simultaneously to resting-state fMRI scans, one cohort (n = 15) received classical bolus [18F]FDG injections and dynamic PET images were recorded. In a second cohort (n = 11) [18F]FDG was constantly infused over the entire functional PET/MRI scans. Resting-state fMRI and [18F]FDG-PET connectivity was evaluated using a graph-theory based correlation approach and compared on whole-brain level and for a default-mode network-like structure. Further, pharmacokinetic and tracer uptake influences on [18F]FDG-PET connectivity results were investigated based on the different PET protocols. By integrating simultaneous resting-state fMRI and dynamic [18F]FDG-PET measurements in the rat brain, we identified homotopic correlations between both modalities, suggesting an underlying synchrony between hemodynamic processes and glucose consumption. Furthermore, the presence of the prominent resting-state default-mode network-like structure was not only depicted on a functional scale but also from dynamic fluctuations of [18F]FDG. In addition, the present findings demonstrated strong pharmacokinetic and tracer uptake dependencies of [18F]FDG-PET connectivity outcomes. This study highlights the application of dynamic [18F]FDG-PET to study cognitive brain functions and to decode underlying brain networks in the resting-state. Thereby, PET-derived connectivity outcomes indicated strong dependencies on tracer application regimens and subsequent time-varying tracer pharmacokinetics.


Connectomics; Resting-state brain networks; Simultaneous PET/fMRI; fPET

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