Kinetic filtering of [(18)F]Fluorothymidine in positron emission tomography studies

Phys Med Biol. 2010 Feb 7;55(3):695-709. doi: 10.1088/0031-9155/55/3/010. Epub 2010 Jan 13.


[(18)F]Fluorothymidine (FLT) is a cell proliferation marker that undergoes predominantly hepatic metabolism and therefore shows a high level of accumulation in the liver, as well as in rapidly proliferating tumours. Furthermore, the tracer's uptake is substantial in other organs including the heart. We present a nonlinear kinetic filtering technique which enhances the visualization of tumours imaged with FLT positron emission tomography (FLT-PET). A classification algorithm to isolate cancerous tissue from healthy organs was developed and validated using 29 scan data from patients with locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer. A large reduction in signal from the liver and heart of 80% was observed following application of the kinetic filter, whilst the majority of signal from both primary tumours and metastases was retained. A scan acquisition time of 60 min has been shown to be sufficient to obtain the necessary kinetic data. The algorithm extends utility of FLT-PET imaging in oncology research.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Algorithms*
  • Breast / diagnostic imaging
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Contrast Media*
  • Dideoxynucleosides* / blood
  • Female
  • Heart / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Kinetics
  • Linear Models
  • Liver / diagnostic imaging
  • Liver Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Liver Neoplasms / secondary
  • Nonlinear Dynamics
  • Positron-Emission Tomography / methods*
  • Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted*


  • Contrast Media
  • Dideoxynucleosides
  • alovudine