Quantification of regional myocardial blood flow estimation with three-dimensional dynamic rubidium-82 PET and modified spillover correction model

J Nucl Cardiol. 2012 Aug;19(4):763-74. doi: 10.1007/s12350-012-9558-1. Epub 2012 Apr 14.


Purpose: Myocardial blood flow (MBF) estimation with (82)Rubidium ((82)Rb) positron emission tomography (PET) is technically difficult because of the high spillover between regions of interest, especially due to the long positron range. We sought to develop a new algorithm to reduce the spillover in image-derived blood activity curves, using non-uniform weighted least-squares fitting.

Methods: Fourteen volunteers underwent imaging with both 3-dimensional (3D) (82)Rb and (15)O-water PET at rest and during pharmacological stress. Whole left ventricular (LV) (82)Rb MBF was estimated using a one-compartment model, including a myocardium-to-blood spillover correction to estimate the corresponding blood input function Ca(t)(whole). Regional K1 values were calculated using this uniform global input function, which simplifies equations and enables robust estimation of MBF. To assess the robustness of the modified algorithm, inter-operator repeatability of 3D (82)Rb MBF was compared with a previously established method.

Results: Whole LV correlation of (82)Rb MBF with (15)O-water MBF was better (P < .01) with the modified spillover correction method (r = 0.92 vs r = 0.60). The modified method also yielded significantly improved inter-operator repeatability of regional MBF quantification (r = 0.89) versus the established method (r = 0.82) (P < .01).

Conclusion: A uniform global input function can suppress LV spillover into the image-derived blood input function, resulting in improved precision for MBF quantification with 3D (82)Rb PET.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Algorithms
  • Computer Simulation
  • Coronary Circulation*
  • Electrocardiography / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Least-Squares Analysis
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardium / pathology
  • Observer Variation
  • Oxygen Radioisotopes / chemistry
  • Positron-Emission Tomography / methods*
  • Regional Blood Flow
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Rubidium Radioisotopes / pharmacology*


  • Oxygen Radioisotopes
  • Rubidium Radioisotopes