FDOPA metabolism in the adult porcine brain: influence of tracer circulation time and VOI selection on estimates of striatal DOPA decarboxylation
ABSTRACT Different methodologies for PET data analysis influence the magnitude of estimates of blood–brain transfer coefficients and rate constants for the metabolism of FDOPA in living striatum. We now test the effects on several kinetic parameters of automatic procedures for volume of interest (VOI) selection. We also tested the sensitivity of the estimates to dynamic frame sequence duration, and produced a standard method for minimizing the variations in physiological estimates for FDOPA kinetics in minipig brain. We used minipigs because our previous work has shown them to provide an appropriate animal model for study normal and pathological cerebral DOPA metabolism using PET. Time–activity curves in striatum of adult minipigs were acquired in VOIs defined manually on MR-images, or alternatively on the basis of the radioactivity concentration based on the most radioactive voxel in the last scan frame. For all frame sequences, the relative decarboxylase activity (k3D) declined significantly (P<0.006) as the VOI threshold declined from 95 to 70% of the most radioactive voxel. Irrespective of VOI size, the magnitude of k3D declined significantly (P<0.001) from 0.074±0.008 to 0.045±0.005 per min (mean±S.E.M.) as total sequence length increased from 60 to 120 min circulation. The method of VOI selection had no significant effect on the striatum decarboxylation index of FDOPA calculated relative to the radioactivity in cerebellum (k3S).