In vivo determination of regional pulmonary blood flow (PBF) is a valuable tool for the evaluation of many lung diseases. In this study, the use of 68Ga-DOTA PET for the in vivo quantitative determination of regional PBF is proposed. This methodology was implemented and tested in healthy pigs and validated using fluorescent microspheres. The study was performed on young large white pigs (n = 4). To assess the reproducibility and consistency of the method, three PET scans were obtained for each animal. Each radiotracer injection was performed simultaneously to the injection of fluorescent microspheres. PBF images were generated applying a two-compartment exchange model over the dynamic PET images. PET and microspheres values were compared by regression analysis and Bland–Altman plot.Results
The capability of the proposed technique to produce 3D regional PBF images was demonstrated. The correlation evaluation between 68Ga-DOTA PET and microspheres showed a good and significant correlation (r = 0.74, P < 0.001).Conclusions
Assessment of PBF with the proposed technique allows combining the high quantitative accuracy of PET imaging with the use of 68Ga/68Ge generators. Thus, 68Ga-DOTA PET emerges as a potential inexpensive method for measuring PBF in clinical settings with an extended use.
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