skip to main content

Title: Assessing and accounting for the impact of respiratory motion on FDG uptake and viable volume for liver lesions in free-breathing PET using respiration-suspended PET images as reference

Purpose: To assess and account for the impact of respiratory motion on the variability of activity and volume determination of liver tumor in positron emission tomography (PET) through a comparison between free-breathing (FB) and respiration-suspended (RS) PET images. Methods: As part of a PET/computed tomography (CT) guided percutaneous liver ablation procedure performed on a PET/CT scanner, a patient's breathing is suspended on a ventilator, allowing the acquisition of a near-motionless PET and CT reference images of the liver. In this study, baseline RS and FB PET/CT images of 20 patients undergoing thermal ablation were acquired. The RS PET provides near-motionless reference in a human study, and thereby allows a quantitative evaluation of the effect of respiratory motion on PET images obtained under FB conditions. Two methods were applied to calculate tumor activity and volume: (1) threshold-based segmentation (TBS), estimating the total lesion glycolysis (TLG) and the segmented volume and (2) histogram-based estimation (HBE), yielding the background-subtracted lesion (BSL) activity and associated volume. The TBS method employs 50% of the maximum standardized uptake value (SUV{sub max}) as the threshold for tumors with SUV{sub max} ≥ 2× SUV{sub liver-bkg}, and tumor activity above this threshold yields TLG{sub 50%}. The HBE method determinesmore » local PET background based on a Gaussian fit of the low SUV peak in a SUV-volume histogram, which is generated within a user-defined and optimized volume of interest containing both local background and lesion uptakes. Voxels with PET intensity above the fitted background were considered to have originated from the tumor and used to calculate the BSL activity and its associated lesion volume. Results: Respiratory motion caused SUV{sub max} to decrease from RS to FB by −15% ± 11% (p = 0.01). Using TBS method, there was also a decrease in SUV{sub mean} (−18% ± 9%, p = 0.01), but an increase in TLG{sub 50%} (18% ± 36%) and in the segmented volume (47% ± 52%, p = 0.01) from RS to FB PET images. The background uptake in normal liver was stable, 1% ± 9%. In contrast, using the HBE method, the differences in both BSL activity and BSL volume from RS to FB were −8% ± 10% (p = 0.005) and 0% ± 16% (p = 0.94), respectively. Conclusions: This is the first time that almost motion-free PET images of the human liver were acquired and compared to free-breathing PET. The BSL method's results are more consistent, for the calculation of both tumor activity and volume in RS and FB PET images, than those using conventional TBS. This suggests that the BSL method might be less sensitive to motion blurring and provides an improved estimation of tumor activity and volume in the presence of respiratory motion.« less
; ;  [1] ;  [2] ; ;  [3]
  1. Department of Medical Physics, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York 10065 (United States)
  2. Department of Radiology, University Hospital of Zurich, CH-8091 Zurich (Switzerland)
  3. Department of Radiology, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York 10065 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Medical Physics; Journal Volume: 41; Journal Issue: 9; Other Information: (c) 2014 American Association of Physicists in Medicine; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States