Noninvasive estimation of the aorta input function for measurement of tumor blood flow with [15O]water

Hiroshi Watabe, Michael A. Channing, Cyril Riddell, Frederic Jousse, Steven K. Libutti, Jorge A. Carrasquillo, Stephen L. Bacharach, Richard E. Carson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Quantitative measurement of tumor blood flow with [15O]water can be used to evaluate the effects of tumor treatment over time. Since quantitative flow measurements require an input function, we developed the profile fitting method (PFM) to measure the input function from positron emission tomography images of the aorta. First, a [11C]CO scan was acquired and the aorta region was analyzed. The aorta diameter was determined by fitting the image data with a model that includes scanner resolution, the measured venous blood radioactivity concentration, and the spillover of counts from the background. The diameter was used in subsequent fitting of [15O]water dynamic images to estimate the aorta and background radioactivity concentrations. Phantom experiments were performed to test the model. Image quantification biases (up to 15%) were found for small objects, particularly for those in a large elliptical phantom. However, the bias in the PFM concentration estimates was much smaller (2%-6%). A simulation study showed that PFM had less bias and/or variability in flow parameter estimates than an ROI method. PFM was applied to human [11C]CO and [15O]water dynamic studies with left ventricle input functions used as the gold standard. PFM parameter estimates had higher variability than found in the simulation but with minimal bias. These studies suggest that PFM is a promising technique for the noninvasive measurement of the aorta [15O]water input function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)164-174
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2001 Mar


  • [O]water
  • Aorta
  • Input function
  • Tumor blood flow


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