Objective: We developed a new computed tomography (CT)-based spatial normalization method and CT template to demonstrate its usefulness in spatial normalization of positron emission tomography (PET) images with [18F] fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) PET studies in healthy controls.
Materials and Methods: Seventy healthy controls underwent brain CT scan (120 KeV, 180 mAs, and 3 mm of thickness) and [18F] FDG PET scans using a PET/CT scanner. T1-weighted magnetic resonance (MR) images were acquired for all subjects. By averaging skull-stripped and spatially-normalized MR and CT images, we created skull-stripped MR and CT templates for spatial normalization. The skull-stripped MR and CT images were spatially normalized to each structural template. PET images were spatially normalized by applying spatial transformation parameters to normalize skull-stripped MR and CT images. A conventional perfusion PET template was used for PET-based spatial normalization. Regional standardized uptake values (SUV) measured by overlaying the template volume of interest (VOI) were compared to those measured with FreeSurfer-generated VOI (FSVOI).
Results: All three spatial normalization methods underestimated regional SUV values by 0.3–20% compared to those measured with FSVOI. The CT-based method showed slightly greater underestimation bias. Regional SUV values derived from all three spatial normalization methods were correlated significantly (p < 0.0001) with those measured with FSVOI.
Conclusion: CT-based spatial normalization may be an alternative method for structure-based spatial normalization of [18F] FDG PET when MR imaging is unavailable. Therefore, it is useful for PET/CT studies with various radiotracers whose uptake is expected to be limited to specific brain regions or highly variable within study population.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging