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Copenhagen, Denmark

Aznar M.C.,Section of Radiotherapy 3994 | Sersar R.,Technical University of Denmark | Saabye J.,Technical University of Denmark | Ladefoged C.N.,Nuclear Medicine and PET | And 4 more authors.
European Journal of Radiology

Purpose In combined PET/MRI standard PET attenuation correction (AC) is based on tissue segmentation following dedicated MR sequencing and, typically, bone tissue is not represented. We evaluate PET quantification in whole-body (WB)-PET/MRI following MR-AC without considering bone attenuation and then investigate different strategies to account for bone tissue in clinical PET/MR imaging. To this purpose, bone tissue representation was extracted from separate CT images, and different bone representations were simulated from hypothetically derived MR-based bone classifications. Methods Twenty oncology patients referred for a PET/CT were injected with either [18F]-FDG or [18F]-NaF and imaged on PET/CT (Biograph TruePoint/mCT, Siemens) and PET/MRI (mMR, Siemens) following a standard single-injection, dual-imaging clinical WB-protocol. Routine MR-AC was based on in-/opposed-phase MR imaging (orgMR-AC). PET(/MRI) images were reconstructed (AW-OSEM, 3 iterations, 21 subsets, 4 mm Gaussian) following routine MR-AC and MR-AC based on four modified attenuation maps. These modified attenuation maps were created for each patient by non-linear co-registration of the CT images to the orgMR-AC images, and adding CT bone mask values representing cortical bone: 1200 HU (cortCT), spongiosa bone: 350 HU (spongCT), average CT value (meanCT) and original CT values (orgCT). Relative difference images of the PET following AC using the modified attenuation maps were compared. SUVmean was calculated in anatomical reference regions and for PET-positive lesions. Results The relative differences in SUVmean across patients following orgMR-AC and orgCT in soft tissue lesions and in bone lesions were similar (range: 0.0% to -22.5%), with an average underestimation of SUVmean of 7.2% and 10.0%, respectively when using orgMR-AC. In bone lesions, spongCT values were closest to orgCT (median bias of 1.3%, range: -9.0% to 13.5%) while the overestimation of SUVmean with respect to orgCT was highest for cortCT (40.8%, range: 1.5% to 110.8%). For soft tissue lesions the bias was highest using cortCT (13.4%, range: -2.3% to 17.3%) and lowest for spongCT (-2.2%, range: 0.0% to -13.7%). Conclusions In PET/MR imaging using standard MR-AC PET uptake values in soft lesions and bone lesions are underestimated by about 10%. In individual patients this bias can be as high as 22%, which is significant during clinical follow-up exams. If bone segmentation is available, then assigning a fixed attenuation value of spongious bone to all bone structures appears reasonable and results in only a minor bias of 5%, or less in uptake values of soft tissue and bone lesions. © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. Source

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