DOI: 10.1186/s13550-016-0250-3Pages: 1-11

Patient-specific optimisation of administered activity and acquisition times for 18F-FDG PET imaging

1. Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust, Nuclear Medicine Department

2. Hermes Medical Solutions

Correspondence to:
Fred Wickham
Tel: +44-0-2078302473




The purpose of this study is to identify a method for optimising the administered activity and acquisition time for 18F-FDG PET imaging, yielding images of consistent quality for patients with varying body sizes and compositions, while limiting radiation doses to patients and staff. Patients referred for FDG scans had bioimpedance measurements. They were injected with 3 MBq/kg of 18F up to 370 MBq and scanned on a Siemens Biograph mCT at 3 or 4 min per bed position. Data were rebinned to simulate 2- and 1-min acquisitions. Subjective assessments of image quality made by an experienced physician were compared with objective measurements based on signal-to-noise ratio and noise equivalent counts (NEC). A target objective measure of image quality was identified. The activity and acquisition time required to achieve this were calculated for each subject. Multiple regression analysis was used to identify expressions for the activity and acquisition time required in terms of easily measurable patient characteristics.


One hundred and eleven patients were recruited, and subjective and objective assessments of image quality were compared for 321 full and reduced time scans. NEC-per-metre was identified as the objective measure which best correlated with the subjective assessment (Spearman rank correlation coefficient 0.77) and the best discriminator for images with a subjective assessment of “definitely adequate” (area under the ROC curve 0.94). A target of 37 Mcount/m was identified. Expressions were identified in terms of patient sex, height and weight for the activity and acquisition time required to achieve this target. Including measurements of body composition in these expressions was not useful. Using these expressions would reduce the mean activity administered to this patient group by 66 MBq compared to the current protocol.


Expressions have been identified for the activity and acquisition times required to achieve consistent image quality in FDG imaging with reduced patient and staff doses. These expressions might need to be adapted for other systems and reconstruction protocols.

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  • Accepted: Dec 16, 2016
  • Online: Jan 13, 2017

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