Validation of a combined image derived input function and venous sampling approach for the quantification of [18F]GE-179 PET binding in the brain.


Blood-based kinetic analysis of PET data relies on an accurate estimate of the arterial plasma input function (PIF). An alternative to invasive measurements from arterial sampling is an image-derived input function (IDIF). However, an IDIF provides the whole blood radioactivity concentration, rather than the required free tracer radioactivity concentration in plasma. To estimate the tracer PIF, we corrected an IDIF from the carotid artery with estimates of plasma parent fraction (PF) and plasma-to-whole blood (PWB) ratio obtained from five venous samples. We compared the combined IDIF+venous approach to gold standard data from arterial sampling in 10 healthy volunteers undergoing [18F]GE-179 brain PET imaging of the NMDA receptor. Arterial and venous PF and PWB ratio estimates determined from 7 patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI) were also compared to assess the potential effect of medication. There was high agreement between areas under the curves of the estimates of PF (r = 0.99, p