Minimisation of parameter estimation errors in dynamic PET: choice of scanning schedules

Phys Med Biol. 1989 Jul;34(7):895-908. doi: 10.1088/0031-9155/34/7/010.


We addressed the general problem of finding an optimal scan schedule in positron emission tomography (PET) dynamic studies which minimises the errors in estimating the transfer constants between a set of compartments. As an example, the influence of scan intervals in PET on the accuracy of estimation of the rate constants and vascular component in the deoxyglucose method was examined using an empirical noise model. The simulated noisy curves used in the analysis were compared with patient data to validate the noise model. A series of scan schedules were compared for accuracy of fit by evaluating the determinant of the variance-covariance matrix of the fitted parameters as an index of parameter accuracy. For realistic noise levels there is a monotonic improvement in the index of parameter accuracy with increasing sampling frequency, particularly over the initial minutes after the tracer injection. However, since faster schedules are more susceptible to errors introduced by time mismatches between plasma and tissue curves and impose greater computational and memory overhead, an initial scan duration of 30 s provide a practical trade-off for dynamic PET 18F-fluoro-deoxyglucose studies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Models, Biological*
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed / methods*