[PUBLICATION] Longitudinal mouse-PET imaging: a reliable method for estimating binding parameters without a reference region or blood sampling


on the April 20, 2020

Collaborative research project led by Prof. I. Buvat (Laboratoire d'Imagerie Translationnelle en Oncologie, Inserm, Institut Curie, Orsay, France) in which Dr. Sylvie Chalon and Mrs. Z. Gulhan

Longitudinal mouse-PET imaging: a reliable method for estimating binding parameters without a reference region or blood sampling


Longitudinal mouse PET imaging is becoming increasingly popular due to the large number of transgenic and disease models available but faces challenges. These challenges are related to the small size of the mouse brain and the limited spatial resolution of microPET scanners, along with the small blood volume making arterial blood sampling challenging and impossible for longitudinal studies. The ability to extract an input function directly from the image would be useful for quantification in longitudinal small animal studies where there is no true reference region available such as TSPO imaging.

Using dynamic, whole-body 18F-DPA-714 PET scans (60 min) in a mouse model of hippocampal sclerosis, we applied a factor analysis (FA) approach to extract an image-derived input function (IDIF). This mouse-specific IDIF was then used for 4D-resolution recovery and denoising (4D-RRD) that outputs a dynamic image with better spatial resolution and noise properties, and a map of the total volume of distribution (VT) was obtained using a basis function approach in a total of 9 mice with 4 longitudinal PET scans each. We also calculated percent injected dose (%ID) with and without 4D-RRD. The VT and %ID parameters were compared to quantified ex vivo autoradiography using regional correlations of the specific binding from autoradiography against VT and %ID parameters.

The peaks of the IDIFs were strongly correlated with the injected dose (Pearson R = 0.79). The regional correlations between the %ID estimates and autoradiography were R = 0.53 without 4D-RRD and 0.72 with 4D-RRD over all mice and scans. The regional correlations between the VT estimates and autoradiography were R = 0.66 without 4D-RRD and 0.79 with application of 4D-RRD over all mice and scans.

We present a FA approach for IDIF extraction which is robust, reproducible and can be used in quantification methods for resolution recovery, denoising and parameter estimation. We demonstrated that the proposed quantification method yields parameter estimates closer to ex vivo measurements than semi-quantitative methods such as %ID and is immune to tracer binding in tissue unlike reference tissue methods. This approach allows for accurate quantification in longitudinal PET studies in mice while avoiding repeated blood sampling.


#Factor analysis; #Image-derived input function; #Mouse; #PET; #TSPO
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