Influence of OSEM and segmented attenuation correction in the calculation of standardised uptake values for [18F]FDG PET

Eur J Nucl Med. 2001 Sep;28(9):1326-35.


Standardised Uptake Values (SUVs) are widely used in positron emission tomography (PET) as a semi-quantitative index of fluorine-18 labelled fluorodeoxyglucose uptake. The objective of this study was to investigate any bias introduced in the calculation of SUVs as a result of employing ordered subsets-expectation maximisation (OSEM) image reconstruction and segmented attenuation correction (SAC). Variable emission and transmission time durations were investigated. Both a phantom and a clinical evaluation of the bias were carried out. The software implemented in the GE Advance PET scanner was used. Phantom studies simulating tumour imaging conditions were performed. Since a variable count rate may influence the results obtained using OSEM, similar acquisitions were performed at total count rates of 34 kcps and 12 kcps. Clinical data consisted of 100 patient studies. Emission datasets of 5 and 15 min duration were combined with 15-, 3-, 2- and 1-min transmission datasets for the reconstruction of both phantom and patient studies. Two SUVs were estimated using the average (SUVavg) and the maximum (SUVmax) count density from regions of interest placed well inside structures of interest. The percentage bias of these SUVs compared with the values obtained using a reference image was calculated. The reference image was considered to be the one produced by filtered back-projection (FBP) image reconstruction with measured attenuation correction using the 15-min emission and transmission datasets for each phantom and patient study. A bias of 5%-20% was found for the SUVavg and SUVmax in the case of FBP with SAC using variable transmission times. In the case of OSEM with SAC, the bias increased to 10%-30%. An overall increase of 5%-10% was observed with the use of SUVmax. The 5-min emission dataset led to an increase in the bias of 25%-100%, with the larger increase recorded for the SUVmax. The results suggest that OSEM and SAC with 3 and 2 min transmission may be reliably used to reduce the overall data acquisition time without compromising the accuracy of SUVs.

MeSH terms

  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18* / pharmacokinetics
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted*
  • Lung / diagnostic imaging
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Phantoms, Imaging
  • Radiopharmaceuticals* / pharmacokinetics
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Thorax / diagnostic imaging
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed*


  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18