Image reconstruction methods affect software-aided assessment of pathologies of [18F]flutemetamol and [18F]FDG brain-PET examinations in patients with neurodegenerative diseases

Neuroimage Clin. 2020:28:102386. doi: 10.1016/j.nicl.2020.102386. Epub 2020 Aug 19.


Purpose: To assess how some of the new developments in brain positron emission tomography (PET) image reconstruction affect quantitative measures and software-aided assessment of pathology in patients with neurodegenerative diseases.

Methods: PET data were grouped into four cohorts: prodromal Alzheimer's disease patients and controls receiving [18F]flutemetamol, and neurodegenerative disease patients and controls receiving [18F]FDG PET scans. Reconstructed images were obtained by ordered-subsets expectation maximization (OSEM; 3 iterations (i), 16/34 subsets (s), 3/5-mm filter, ±time-of-flight (TOF), ±point-spread function (PSF)) and block-sequential regularized expectation maximization (BSREM; TOF, PSF, β-value 75-300). Standardized uptake value ratios (SUVR) and z-scores were calculated (CortexID Suite, GE Healthcare) using cerebellar gray matter, pons, whole cerebellum and whole brain as reference regions.

Results: In controls, comparable results to the normal database were obtained with OSEM 3i/16 s 5-mm reconstruction. TOF, PSF and BSREM either increased or decreased the relative uptake difference to the normal subjects' database within the software, depending on the tracer and chosen reference area, i.e. resulting in increased absolute z-scores. Normalizing to pons and whole brain for [18F]flutemetamol and [18F]FDG, respectively, increased absolute differences between reconstructions methods compared to normalizing to cerebellar gray matter and whole cerebellum when applying TOF, PSF and BSREM.

Conclusions: Software-aided assessment of patient pathologies should be used with caution when employing other image reconstruction methods than those used for acquisition of the normal database.

Keywords: PET image reconstruction; PET imaging; Quantification; Software-aided diagnosis; [(18)F]FDG; [(18)F]Flutemetamol.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aniline Compounds
  • Benzothiazoles
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18*
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases* / diagnostic imaging
  • Positron-Emission Tomography
  • Software
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed


  • Aniline Compounds
  • Benzothiazoles
  • flutemetamol
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18