Use of the abdominal aorta for arterial input function determination in hepatic and renal PET studies

J Nucl Med. 1992 Apr;33(4):613-20.


A method using the activity in the abdominal aorta of human and animal subjects to noninvasively estimate blood-pool input function in dynamic, abdominal PET scans is proposed and validated in this paper. Partial volume effects due to the aorta's dimensions are corrected by a semi-automated algorithm based on the transaxial resolution in the reconstructed images. The technique was validated by comparing PET measurements of abdominal aortic activity to well counter measurements of arterial blood samples (eight canine renal studies) and to PET measurements of left ventricular cavity activity (eight human hepatic studies). In renal studies, correlation analysis of the areas subtended by the two input functions yielded an essentially unitary slope (1.03 +/- 0.09), with high correlation (R2 greater than 0.95, p less than 0.001). In hepatic studies, similar values (0.99 +/- 0.03 and R2 greater than 0.85, p less than 0.001) were found. Correlation of the blood flow estimates based on the two input functions and a two-compartment model produced slopes of 1.07 +/- 0.16 and 1.03 +/- 0.07, and correlations of (R2 greater than 0.98, p less than 0.001) and (R2 greater than 0.97, p less than 0.001) for the renal and hepatic studies, respectively. We conclude that noninvasive, accurate measurements of the arterial input function by dynamic PET imaging are possible and represent a clinically viable alternative to arterial blood sampling.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Aorta, Abdominal / diagnostic imaging*
  • Arteries / diagnostic imaging*
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Kidney / diagnostic imaging*
  • Liver / diagnostic imaging*
  • Male
  • Technology, Radiologic
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed / methods*