Feasibility of simultaneous PET/MR of the carotid artery: first clinical experience and comparison to PET/CT

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Rasmus Sejersten Ripa, Andreas Knudsen, Anne Mette Fisker Hag, Anne-Mette Lebech, Annika Loft, Sune Høgild Keller, Adam Espe Hansen, Eric von Benzon, Liselotte Højgaard, Andreas Kjær

The study aimed at comparing PET/MR to PET/CT for imaging the carotid arteries in patients with known increased risk of atherosclerosis. Six HIV-positive men underwent sequential PET/MR and PET/CT of the carotid arteries after injection of 400 MBq of 18F-FDG. PET/MR was performed a median of 131 min after injection. Subsequently, PET/CT was performed. Regions of interest (ROI) were drawn slice by slice to include the carotid arteries and standardized uptake values (SUV) were calculated from both datasets independently. Quantitative comparison of 18F-FDG uptake revealed a high congruence between PET data acquired using the PET/MR system compared to the PET/CT system. The mean difference for SUVmean was -0.18 (p < 0.001) and -0.14 for SUVmax (p < 0.001) indicating a small but significant bias towards lower values using the PET/MR system. The 95% limits of agreement were -0.55 to 0.20 for SUVmean and -0.93 to 0.65 for SUVmax. The image quality of the PET/MR allowed for delineation of the carotid vessel wall. The correlations between 18F-FDG uptake from ROI including both vessel wall and vessel lumen to ROI including only the wall were strong (r = 0.98 for SUVmean and r = 1.00 for SUVmax) indicating that the luminal 18F-FDG content had minimal influence on the values. The study shows for the first time that simultaneous PET/MR of the carotid arteries is feasible in patients with increased risk of atherosclerosis. Quantification of 18F-FDG uptake correlated well between PET/MR and PET/CT despite difference in method of PET attenuation correction, reconstruction algorithm, and detector technology.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)361-371
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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