Positron emission tomography (PET) with 15O-tracers is commonly used to measure brain hemodynamic parameters such as cerebral blood flow, cerebral blood volume, and cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen. Conventionally, the absolute quantification of these parameters requires an arterial input function that is obtained invasively by sampling blood from an artery. In this work, we developed and validated an image-derived arterial input function technique that avoids the unreliable and burdensome arterial sampling procedure for full quantitative 15O-PET imaging. We then compared hemodynamic PET imaging performed on a PET/MR hybrid scanner against a conventional PET only scanner. We demonstrated the proposed imaging-based technique was able to generate brain hemodynamic parameter measurements in strong agreement with the traditional arterial sampling based approach. We also demonstrated that quantitative 15O-PET imaging can be successfully implemented on a PET/MR hybrid scanner.
Keywords: Arterial input function; cerebral blood flow; cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen; positron emission tomography.