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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 188-194

Visual detection of regional brain hypometabolism in cognitively impaired patients is independent of positron emission tomography-magnetic resonance attenuation correction method

1 Department of Radiology, New York University Medical Center, New York, NY, USA
2 MIM Software Inc., Cleveland, OH, USA
3 Siemens Healthcare Gmbh, Erlangen, Germany
4 Siemens Medical Solutions, Malvern, PA, USA
5 Department of Radiology, New York University Medical Center; Center for Advanced Imaging Innovation and Research, New York, NY, USA

Correspondence Address:
Ana M Franceschi
660 First Avenue, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10016
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DOI: 10.4103/wjnm.WJNM_61_17

PMID: 30034284

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Fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography-magnetic resonance (PET/MR) is useful for the evaluation of cognitively-impaired patients. This study aims to assess two different attenuation correction (AC) methods (Dixon-MR and atlas-based) versus index-standard computed tomography (CT) AC for the visual interpretation of regional hypometabolism in patients with cognitive impairment. Two board-certified nuclear medicine physicians blindly scored brain region FDG hypometabolism as normal versus hypometabolic using two-dimensional (2D) and 3D FDG PET/MR images generated by MIM software. Regions were quantitatively assessed as normal versus mildly, moderately, or severely hypometabolic. Hypometabolism scores obtained using the different methods of AC were compared, and interreader, as well as intra-reader agreement, was assessed. Regional hypometabolism versus normal metabolism was correctly classified in 16 patients on atlas-based and Dixon-based AC map PET reconstructions (vs. CT reference AC) for 94% (90%–96% confidence interval [CI]) and 93% (89%–96% CI) of scored regions, respectively. The averaged sensitivity/specificity for detection of any regional hypometabolism was 95%/94% (P = 0.669) and 90%/91% (P = 0.937) for atlas-based and Dixon-based AC maps. Interreader agreement for detection of regional hypometabolism was high, with similar outcome assessments when using atlas- and Dixon-corrected PET data in 93% (Κ =0.82) and 93% (Κ =0.84) of regions, respectively. Intrareader agreement for detection of regional hypometabolism was high, with concordant outcome assessments when using atlas- and Dixon-corrected data in 93%/92% (Κ =0.79) and 92/93% (Κ =0.78). Despite the quantitative advantages of atlas-based AC in brain PET/MR, routine clinical Dixon AC yields comparable visual ratings of regional hypometabolism in the evaluation of cognitively impaired patients undergoing brain PET/MR and is similar in performance to CT-based AC. Therefore, Dixon AC is acceptable for the routine clinical evaluation of dementia syndromes.

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