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A reference tissue forward model for improved PET accuracy using within-scan displacement studies

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

We report a novel forward-model implementation of the full reference tissue model (fFTRM) that addresses the fast-exchange approximation employed by the simplified reference tissue model (SRTM) by incorporating a non-zero dissociation time constant from the specifically bound compartment. The forward computational approach avoided errors associated with noisy and nonorthogonal basis functions using an inverse linear model. Compared to analysis by a multilinear single-compartment reference tissue model (MRTM), fFTRM provided improved accuracy for estimation of binding potentials at early times in the scan, with no worse reproducibility across sessions. To test the model's ability to identify small focal changes in binding potential using a within-scan challenge, we employed a nonhuman primate model of focal dopamine release elicited by deep brain microstimulation remote to ventral striatum (VST) during imaging by simultaneous PET and fMRI. The new model reported an unambiguously lateralized response in VST consistent with fMRI, whereas the MRTM-derived response was not lateralized and was consistent with simulations of model bias. The proposed model enabled better accuracy in PET [11C]raclopride displacement studies and may also facilitate challenges sooner after injection, thereby recovering some sensitivity lost to radioactive decay of the PET tracer.
ISSN: 0271-678X
Issue: 6
Volume: 42
Pages: 1007 - 1019
Publication year:2021