Impact of free-breathing CT on quantitative measurements of static and quiescent period-gated PET Images

Joseph G. Meier, Samuel A. Einstein, Radwan H. Diab, Lauren J. Erasmus, Guofang Xu, Osama R. Mawlawi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Measurements of standardized uptake values (SUV) can vary due to many causes, including respiratory motion. Various methodologies have been introduced to correct for motion in PET, with quiescent-period-gated (QPG) PET being the most popular approach. QPG has been shown to improve PET image quantification compared to static-whole-body (SWB) PET. However, to achieve this improvement, QPG PET requires CT attenuation correction data that matches the QPG PET data. In this paper we investigated the effect of using free-breathing CT for attenuation correction of QPG PET on SUVmax and SUVpeak and compared the results to those of SWB PET. 34 lesions in 27 patients were included. All patients were injected with F-18 FDG. 4D-CT datasets representing all possible phases of respiration that could result from a free-breathing CT were acquired. The 4D-CT datasets were used for attenuation correction of the QPG and SWB PET data. Percentage change in the SUVmax and SUVpeak range was calculated for the reconstructions and compared between QPG and SWB PET. The mean percentage change in the lesion SUVmax and SUVpeak ranges were 19.1% (p = 0.0178) and 25.2% (p = 0.0002) higher for QPG compared to SWB, respectively. The maximum percent change in SUVmax and SUVpeak ranges were 58.5% and 59.0% for QPG, respectively compared to 46.1% and 45.3% for SWB, respectively. The highest SUVmax and SUVpeak measurements corresponded to the CT phase that matched the QPG phase. Utilizing free-breathing CT for attenuation correction can lead to large changes in quantification due to misalignment with PET data. This misalignment has a large quantitative impact on QPG PET as compared to SWB PET. When interpreting quantitative changes in lesions, it is critical to consider the influences of free-breathing CT-based attenuation correction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number105013
JournalPhysics in Medicine and Biology
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 16 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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