Introduction: Quantitative positron emission tomography (PET) studies of neurodegenerative diseases typically require the measurement of arterial input functions (AIF), an invasive and risky procedure. This study aims to assess the reproducibility of [11C]DPA-713 PET kinetic analysis using population-based input function (PBIF). The final goal is to possibly eliminate the need for AIF.
Materials and Methods: Eighteen subjects including six healthy volunteers (HV) and twelve Parkinson disease (PD) subjects from two [11C]-DPA-713 PET studies were included. Each subject underwent 90 minutes of dynamic PET imaging. Five healthy volunteers underwent a test-retest scan within the same day to assess the repeatability of the kinetic parameters. Kinetic modeling was carried out using the Logan total volume of distribution (VT) model. For each data set, kinetic analysis was performed using a patient specific AIF (PSAIF, ground-truth standard), and then repeated using the PBIF. PBIF was generated using the leave-one-out method for each subject from the remaining 17 subjects, and after normalizing the PSAIFs by 3 techniques: (a) Weightsubject×DoseInjected (b) Area Under AIF Curve (AUC), and (c) Weightsubject×AUC. The variability in the total distribution volume (VT) measured with PSAIF, in the test/retest study were determined for selected brain regions (white matter, cerebellum, thalamus, caudate, putamen, pallidum, brainstem, hippocampus and amygdala) using the Bland-Altman analysis, and for each of the 3 normalization techniques. Similarly, for all subjects, the variabilities due to the use of PBIF were assessed.
Results: Bland-Altman analysis showed systematic bias between test and retest studies. The corresponding mean bias and 95% limits of agreement (LOA) for the studied brain regions were 30% and ±70%.
Comparing PBIF- and PSAIF-based VT estimate for all subjects and all brain regions, a significant difference between the results generated by the three normalization techniques existed for all brain structures except for the brainstem (P-value = 0.095). The mean % difference and 95% LOA is -10% and ±45% for Weightsubject×DoseInjected; +8% and ±50% for AUC; and +2% and ±38% for Weightsubject×AUC. In all cases, normalizing by Weightsubject×AUC yielded the smallest % bias and variability (% bias = ±2%; LOA = ±38% for all brain regions.
Estimating the reproducibility of PBIF-kinetics to PSAIF based on disease groups (HV/PD) and genotype (MAB/ HAB), the average VT values for all regions obtained from PBIF is insignificantly higher than PSAIF (%difference = 4.53%, P-value = 0.73 for HAB; and %difference = 0.73%, P-value = 0.96 for MAB). PBIF also tends to overestimate the difference between PD and HV for HAB (%difference = 32.33% versus 13.28%) and underestimate it in MAB (%difference = 6.84% versus 20.92%).
Conclusions: PSAIF kinetic results are reproducible with PBIF, with variability in VT within that obtained for the test-retest studies. Therefore, VT assessed using PBIF-based kinetic modeling is clinically feasible, and can be an alternative to PSAIF.