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Title: Correction of quantification errors in pelvic and spinal lesions caused by ignoring higher photon attenuation of bone in [{sup 18}F]NaF PET/MR

Purpose: MR-based attenuation correction (MRAC) in routine clinical whole-body positron emission tomography and magnetic resonance imaging (PET/MRI) is based on tissue type segmentation. Due to lack of MR signal in cortical bone and the varying signal of spongeous bone, standard whole-body segmentation-based MRAC ignores the higher attenuation of bone compared to the one of soft tissue (MRAC{sub nobone}). The authors aim to quantify and reduce the bias introduced by MRAC{sub nobone} in the standard uptake value (SUV) of spinal and pelvic lesions in 20 PET/MRI examinations with [{sup 18}F]NaF. Methods: The authors reconstructed 20 PET/MR [{sup 18}F]NaF patient data sets acquired with a Philips Ingenuity TF PET/MRI. The PET raw data were reconstructed with two different attenuation images. First, the authors used the vendor-provided MRAC algorithm that ignores the higher attenuation of bone to reconstruct PET{sub nobone}. Second, the authors used a threshold-based algorithm developed in their group to automatically segment bone structures in the [{sup 18}F]NaF PET images. Subsequently, an attenuation coefficient of 0.11 cm{sup −1} was assigned to the segmented bone regions in the MRI-based attenuation image (MRAC{sub bone}) which was used to reconstruct PET{sub bone}. The automatic bone segmentation algorithm was validated in six PET/CT [{sup 18}F]NaFmore » examinations. Relative SUV{sub mean} and SUV{sub max} differences between PET{sub bone} and PET{sub nobone} of 8 pelvic and 41 spinal lesions, and of other regions such as lung, liver, and bladder, were calculated. By varying the assigned bone attenuation coefficient from 0.11 to 0.13 cm{sup −1}, the authors investigated its influence on the reconstructed SUVs of the lesions. Results: The comparison of [{sup 18}F]NaF-based and CT-based bone segmentation in the six PET/CT patients showed a Dice similarity of 0.7 with a true positive rate of 0.72 and a false discovery rate of 0.33. The [{sup 18}F]NaF-based bone segmentation worked well in the pelvis and spine. However, it showed artifacts in the skull and in the extremities. The analysis of the 20 [{sup 18}F]NaF PET/MRI examinations revealed relative SUV{sub max} differences between PET{sub nobone} and PET{sub bone} of (−8.8% ± 2.7%, p = 0.01) and (−8.1% ± 1.9%, p = 2.4 × 10{sup −8}) in pelvic and spinal lesions, respectively. A maximum SUV{sub max} underestimation of −13.7% was found in lesion in the third cervical spine. The averaged SUV{sub mean} differences in volumes of interests in lung, liver, and bladder were below 3%. The average SUV{sub max} differences in pelvic and spinal lesions increased from −9% to −18% and −8% to −17%, respectively, when increasing the assigned bone attenuation coefficient from 0.11 to 0.13 cm{sup −1}. Conclusions: The developed automatic [{sup 18}F]NaF PET-based bone segmentation allows to include higher bone attenuation in whole-body MRAC and thus improves quantification accuracy for pelvic and spinal lesions in [{sup 18}F]NaF PET/MRI examinations. In nonbone structures (e.g., lung, liver, and bladder), MRAC{sub nobone} yields clinically acceptable accuracy.« less
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  1. Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf, Institute of Radiopharmaceutical Cancer Research, Dresden 01328 (Germany)
  2. Department of Nuclear Medicine, University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, Dresden 01307 (Germany)
  3. Department of Radiology, University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, Dresden 01307 (Germany)
  4. Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf, Institute for Radiopharmaceutical Cancer Research, Dresden 01328 (Germany)
  5. (Germany)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Medical Physics; Journal Volume: 42; Journal Issue: 11; Other Information: (c) 2015 American Association of Physicists in Medicine; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States