DOI: 10.1186/s40658-016-0171-2Pages: 1-13

Quantitative myocardial blood flow imaging with integrated time-of-flight PET-MR

1. Uppsala University, Nuclear Medicine & PET

2. Uppsala University, Radiology, Department of Surgical Sciences

3. Center for Research and Development

4. Århus University Hospitals, Department of Nuclear Medicine and PET

5. Uppsala University Hospital, PET Center/Medical Imaging Center

Correspondence to:
Tanja Kero
Tel: +46-18-6119005




The use of integrated PET-MR offers new opportunities for comprehensive assessment of cardiac morphology and function. However, little is known on the quantitative accuracy of cardiac PET imaging with integrated time-of-flight PET-MR. The aim of the present work was to validate the GE Signa PET-MR scanner for quantitative cardiac PET perfusion imaging. Eleven patients (nine male; mean age 59 years; range 46–74 years) with known or suspected coronary artery disease underwent 15O-water PET scans at rest and during adenosine-induced hyperaemia on a GE Discovery ST PET-CT and a GE Signa PET-MR scanner. PET-MR images were reconstructed using settings recommended by the manufacturer, including time-of-flight (TOF). Data were analysed semi-automatically using Cardiac VUer software, resulting in both parametric myocardial blood flow (MBF) images and segment-based MBF values. Correlation and agreement between PET-CT-based and PET-MR-based MBF values for all three coronary artery territories were assessed using regression analysis and intra-class correlation coefficients (ICC). In addition to the cardiac PET-MR reconstruction protocol as recommended by the manufacturer, comparisons were made using a PET-CT resolution-matched reconstruction protocol both without and with TOF to assess the effect of time-of-flight and reconstruction parameters on quantitative MBF values.


Stress MBF data from one patient was excluded due to movement during the PET-CT scanning. Mean MBF values at rest and stress were (0.92 ± 0.12) and (2.74 ± 1.37) mL/g/min for PET-CT and (0.90 ± 0.23) and (2.65 ± 1.15) mL/g/min for PET-MR (p = 0.33 and p = 0.74). ICC between PET-CT-based and PET-MR-based regional MBF was 0.98. Image quality was improved with PET-MR as compared to PET-CT. ICC between PET-MR-based regional MBF with and without TOF and using different filter and reconstruction settings was 1.00.


PET-MR-based MBF values correlated well with PET-CT-based MBF values and the parametric PET-MR images were excellent. TOF and reconstruction settings had little impact on MBF values.

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  • Accepted: Dec 21, 2016
  • Online: Jan 6, 2017

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