Comparative evaluation of Logan and relative-equilibrium graphical methods for parametric imaging of dynamic [18F]FDDNP PET determinations

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Abstract

Logan graphical analysis with cerebellum as reference region has been widely used for the estimation of the distribution volume ratio (DVR) of [18F]FDDNP as a measure of amyloid burden and tau deposition in human brain because of its simplicity and computational ease. However, spurious parametric DVR images may be produced with shorter scanning times and when the noise level is high. In this work, we have characterized a relative-equilibrium-based (RE) graphical method against the Logan analysis for parametric imaging and region-of-interest (ROI) analysis.

Methods

Dynamic [18F]FDDNP PET scans were performed on 9 control subjects and 12 patients diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. Using the cerebellum as reference input, regional DVR estimates were derived using both the Logan analysis and the RE plot approach. Effects on DVR estimates obtained at voxel and ROI levels by both graphical approaches using data in different time windows were investigated and compared with the standard values derived using the Logan analysis on a voxel-by-voxel basis for the time window of 35–125 min used in previous studies.

Results

Larger bias and variability were observed for DVR estimates obtained by the Logan graphical analysis at the voxel level when short time windows (85–125 and 45–65 min) were used, because of high noise levels in voxel-wise parametric imaging. However, when the Logan graphical analysis was applied at the ROI level over those short time windows, the DVR estimates did not differ significantly from the standard values derived using the Logan analysis on the voxel level for the time window of 35–125 min, and their bias and variability were remarkably lower. Conversely, the RE plot approach was more robust in providing DVR estimates with less bias and variability even when short time windows were used. The DVR estimates obtained at voxel and ROI levels were consistent. No significant differences were observed in DVR estimates obtained by the RE plot approach for all paired comparisons with the standard values.

Conclusions

The RE plot approach provides less noisy parametric images and gives consistent and reliable regional DVR estimates at both voxel and ROI levels, indicating that it is preferred over the Logan graphical analysis for analyzing [18F]FDDNP PET data.

Highlights

□ Logan DVR estimate obtained with short time windows has larger bias and variability. □ RE plot approach is more robust as the DVR estimate has less bias and variability. □ DVR estimates obtained by RE plot approach are consistent at voxel and ROI levels. □ RE plot approach provides less noisy parametric DVR images than Logan analysis. □ The findings are not specific to [18F] FDDNP but are also relevant to other radiotracers.

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