Quantification in positron emission tomography for research in pharmacology and drug development

Nucl Med Commun. 2004 Jul;25(7):643-6. doi: 10.1097/01.mnm.0000134330.38536.bc.


Positron emission tomography (PET) is a quantitative in vivo tracer technique, enabling images of the distribution of biochemical, physiological and pharmacological functions in living tissue, at a resolution of a few millimetres. Applications include the imaging of blood flow rate, metabolic rate and neuroreceptor distribution and function. These applications are playing an increasing role in drug development. This brief article seeks to emphasize how these applications of PET need to rest on a solid quantitative foundation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Animals
  • Brain / blood supply
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging*
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Brain Mapping / methods
  • Drug Design*
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18 / pharmacokinetics
  • Humans
  • Image Enhancement / methods
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted / methods
  • Pharmacology / methods*
  • Positron-Emission Tomography / methods*
  • Positron-Emission Tomography / trends
  • Radiopharmaceuticals / pharmacokinetics
  • Research Design*
  • Sensory Receptor Cells / metabolism*


  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18