Impact of point spread function modeling and time-of-flight on myocardial blood flow and myocardial flow reserve measurements for rubidium-82 cardiac PET

J Nucl Cardiol. 2014 Jun;21(3):467-74. doi: 10.1007/s12350-014-9858-8. Epub 2014 Jan 31.


Background: Myocardial flow reserve (MFR) obtained from dynamic cardiac positron emission tomography (PET) with rubidium-82 (Rb-82) has been shown to be a useful measurement in assessing coronary artery disease. Advanced PET reconstructions with point spread function modeling and time-of-flight have been shown to improve image quality but also have an impact on kinetic analysis of dynamic data. This study aims to determine the impact of these algorithms on MFR data.

Methods: Dynamic Rb-82 cardiac PET images from 37 patients were reconstructed with standard and advanced reconstructions. Area under curve (AUC) of the blood input function (BIF), myocardial blood flow (MBF) and MFR were compared with each reconstruction.

Results: No significant differences were seen in MFR for the two reconstructions. A relatively small mean difference in MBF data of +11.9% was observed with advanced reconstruction compared with the standard reconstruction but there was considerable variability in the degree of change (95% confidence intervals of -16.2% to +40.0%). Small systematic relative differences were seen for AUC BIF (mean difference of -6.3%; 95% CI -17.5% to +5.4%).

Conclusion: MFR results from Rb-82 dynamic PET appear to be robust when generated by standard or advanced PET reconstructions. Considerable increases in MBF values may occur with advanced reconstructions, and further work is required to fully understand this.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Blood Flow Velocity
  • Coronary Artery Disease / diagnostic imaging*
  • Coronary Artery Disease / physiopathology*
  • Coronary Circulation*
  • Female
  • Fractional Flow Reserve, Myocardial*
  • Humans
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted / methods
  • Male
  • Metabolic Clearance Rate
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Cardiovascular
  • Models, Statistical
  • Positron-Emission Tomography / methods*
  • Radiopharmaceuticals / pharmacokinetics
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Rubidium Radioisotopes / pharmacokinetics*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Rubidium Radioisotopes