Quantitative Single-Photon Emission Computed Tomography/Computed Tomography for Glomerular Filtration Rate Measurement

Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2017 Dec;51(4):338-346. doi: 10.1007/s13139-017-0491-8. Epub 2017 Aug 24.


Purpose: We propose a quantitative Tc-99m diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid (DTPA) single-photon emission computed tomography/computed tomography (SPECT/CT) for glomerular filtration rate (GFR) measurement.

Methods: Quantitative SPECT/CT data obtained at 2-3 min post-Tc-99m DTPA injection (370 MBq) were used to determine % injected doses (%IDs) for individual kidneys. The reproducibility of %ID measurement was tested and compared with planar scintigraphy. Cr-51 ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) GFR was used as reference standard. Nine young volunteers, representing normal GFR, and ten older volunteers, reflecting impaired GFR, were enrolled. The established GFR equation derived from these volunteers was applied to 19 renal tumor patients post-partial nephrectomy.

Results: At 2-3 min, %ID was most reproducible with the highest intraclass correlation (ICC) (0.9379) and lowest % coefficient of variation (CV) (6.5259%), which were more reliable than the ICC (0.9368) and %CV (6.7689%) of planar scintigraphy. Cr-51 EDTA GFR (93.16 ± 24.81 ml/min) correlated significantly with %ID (7.66 ± 2.15%, r = 0.7906, p = 0.0001), yielding an equation: Cr-51 EDTA GFR (ml/min) = (%ID × 9.1462) + 23.0653. This equation revealed significant decreases in total and nephrectomized kidney GFR (p = 0.0012 and p < 0.0001, respectively) from preoperative to 3-month postoperative measurements.

Conclusions: Quantitative Tc-99m DTPA SPECT/CT produces reliable and clinically applicable %ID estimates that translate to the GFR of individual kidneys.

Keywords: Computed tomography; Cr-51 EDTA; Glomerular filtration rate; Single-photon emission computed tomography; Tc-99m DTPA.