Quantitative assessment of dynamic PET imaging data in cancer imaging

Magn Reson Imaging. 2012 Nov;30(9):1203-15. doi: 10.1016/j.mri.2012.05.008. Epub 2012 Jul 21.


Clinical imaging in positron emission tomography (PET) is often performed using single-time-point estimates of tracer uptake or static imaging that provides a spatial map of regional tracer concentration. However, dynamic tracer imaging can provide considerably more information about in vivo biology by delineating both the temporal and spatial pattern of tracer uptake. In addition, several potential sources of error that occur in static imaging can be mitigated. This review focuses on the application of dynamic PET imaging to measuring regional cancer biologic features and especially in using dynamic PET imaging for quantitative therapeutic response monitoring for cancer clinical trials. Dynamic PET imaging output parameters, particularly transport (flow) and overall metabolic rate, have provided imaging end points for clinical trials at single-center institutions for years. However, dynamic imaging poses many challenges for multicenter clinical trial implementations from cross-center calibration to the inadequacy of a common informatics infrastructure. Underlying principles and methodology of PET dynamic imaging are first reviewed, followed by an examination of current approaches to dynamic PET image analysis with a specific case example of dynamic fluorothymidine imaging to illustrate the approach.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Calibration
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18 / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / methods
  • Medical Oncology / methods
  • Multicenter Studies as Topic
  • Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Positron-Emission Tomography / methods*
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods


  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18