caliPER: A software for blood-free parametric Patlak mapping using PET/MRI input function
URL with Digital Object Identifier
Routine clinical use of absolute PET quantification techniques is limited by the need for serial arterial blood sampling for input function and more importantly by the lack of automated pharmacokinetic analysis tools that can be readily implemented in clinic with minimal effort. PET/MRI provides the ability for absolute quantification of PET probes without the need for serial arterial blood sampling using image-derived input functions (IDIFs). Here we introduce caliPER, a modular and scalable software for simplified pharmacokinetic modeling of PET probes with irreversible uptake or binding based on PET/MR IDIFs and Patlak Plot analysis. caliPER generates regional values or parametric maps of net influx rate (Ki) using reconstructed dynamic PET images and anatomical MRI aligned to PET for IDIF vessel delineation. We evaluated the performance of caliPER for blood-free region-based and pixel-wise Patlak analyses of [18F] FDG by comparing caliPER IDIF to serial arterial blood input functions and its application in imaging brain glucose hypometabolism in Frontotemporal dementia. IDIFs corrected for partial volume errors including spill-out and spill-in effects were similar to arterial blood input functions with a general bias of around 6–8%, even for arteries <5 mm. The Ki and cerebral metabolic rate of glucose estimated using caliPER IDIF were similar to estimates using arterial blood sampling (<2%) and within limits of whole brain values reported in literature. Overall, caliPER is a promising tool for irreversible PET tracer quantification and can simplify the ability to perform parametric analysis in clinical settings without the need for blood sampling.