Comparison of the transient equilibrium and continuous infusion method for quantitative PET analysis of [11C]raclopride binding

J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 1998 Sep;18(9):941-50. doi: 10.1097/00004647-199809000-00003.


Several approaches have been applied for quantification of D2 dopamine receptors in positron emission tomography studies using [11C]raclopride. Initial approaches were based on analyses of data obtained after rapid bolus injection of [11C]raclopride. A continuous infusion paradigm has more recently been applied. The current study compares these approaches in healthy men. Two positron emission tomography measurements were performed in each of six healthy men, the first with rapid bolus injection and the second with continuous infusion of [11C]raclopride. In rapid bolus injection, the binding potential was calculated by the following methods. One approach is the kinetic analysis using the standard three-compartment model. Another is to define a transient equilibrium at the moment when the specific binding reaches its maximum. In continuous infusion, binding potential was calculated by using time-activity data at equilibrium condition. All methods gave almost identical binding potential, representing cross-validation of these methods. The continuous infusion method can provide "true" equilibrium condition. The kinetic analysis is a sophisticated approach but requires determination of an arterial input function. The transient equilibrium method thus is suitable for routine clinical research, since it does not require determination of an arterial input function.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Carbon Radioisotopes
  • Chemical Phenomena
  • Chemistry
  • Dopamine Antagonists / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Injections, Intravenous
  • Male
  • Raclopride
  • Radioligand Assay
  • Receptors, Dopamine D2 / metabolism*
  • Reference Values
  • Salicylamides / metabolism*
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed / methods*


  • Carbon Radioisotopes
  • Dopamine Antagonists
  • Receptors, Dopamine D2
  • Salicylamides
  • Raclopride