Sensitivity of 18F-fluorodihydrotestosterone PET-CT to count statistics and reconstruction protocol in metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer

Matthijs C.F. Cysouw*, Gerbrand M. Kramer, Dennis Heijtel, Robert C. Schuit, Michael J. Morris, Alfons J.M. van den Eertwegh, Jens Voortman, Otto S. Hoekstra, Daniela E. Oprea-Lager, Ronald Boellaard

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objectives: Whole body [18F]-fluorodihydrotestosterone positron emission tomography ([18F]FDHT PET) imaging directly targets the androgen receptor and is a promising prognostic and predictive biomarker in metastatic castration-resistant cancer (mCRPC). To optimize [18F]FDHT PET-CT for diagnostic and response assessment purposes, we assessed how count statistics and reconstruction protocol affect its accuracy, repeatability, and lesion detectability. Methods: Whole body [18F]FDHT PET-CT scans were acquired on an analogue PET-CT on two consecutive days in 14 mCRPC patients harbouring a total of 336 FDHT-avid lesions. Images were acquired at 45 min post-injection of 200 MBq [18F]FDHT at 3 min per bed position. List-mode PET data were split on a count-wise basis, yielding two statistically independent scans with each 50% of counts. Images were reconstructed according to current EANM Research Ltd. (EARL1, 4 mm voxel) and novel EARL2 guidelines (4 mm voxel + PSF). Per lesion, we measured SUVpeak, SUVmax, SUVmean, and contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR). SUV was normalized to dose per bodyweight as well as to the parent plasma input curve integral. Variability was assessed with repeatability coefficients (RCs). Results: Count reduction increased liver coefficient of variation from 9.0 to 12.5% and from 10.8 to 13.2% for EARL1 and EARL2, respectively. SUVs of EARL2 images were 12.0–21.7% higher than EARL1. SUVs of 100% and 50% count data were highly correlated (R2 > 0.98; slope = 0.97–1.01; ICC = 0.99–1.00). Intrascan variability was volume-dependent, and count reduction resulted in higher intrascan variability for EARL2 than EARL1 images. Intrascan RCs were lowest for SUVmean (8.5–10.6%), intermediate for SUVpeak (12.0–16.0%), and highest for SUVmax (17.8–22.2%). Count reduction increased test-retest variance non-significantly (p > 0.05) for all SUV types and normalizations. For SUVpeak at 50% of counts, RCs remained < 30% when small lesions were excluded. Splitting data reduced CNR by median 4.6% (interquartile range 1.2–8.7%) and 4.6% (interquartile range 1.2–8.7%) for EARL1 and EARL2 images, respectively. Conclusions: Reducing [18F]FDHT PET acquisition time from 3 min to 1.5 per bed position resulted in a repeatability of SUVpeak (bodyweight) remaining ≤ 30%, which is generally acceptable for response monitoring purposes. However, EARL2 reconstruction was more affected, especially for SUVmax whose repeatability tended to exceed 30%. Lesion detectability was only slightly impaired by reducing acquisition time, which might not be clinically relevant in mCRPC.

Original languageEnglish
Article number70
JournalEJNMMI Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019

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