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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 20  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 82-89

Visual versus semiquantitative analysis of F-18 fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography brain images in patients with dementia

1 Department of Nuclear Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Kuwait University, Kuwait
2 Department of Neurology, Faculty of Medicine, Beni-Suef University, Egypt; Department of Nuclear Medicine, Ibn Sina Hospital, Kuwait
3 Department of Nuclear Medicine, Adan Hospital, Kuwait
4 Department of Nuclear Medicine, Mubarak Al-Kabeer Hospital, Kuwait City, Kuwait
5 Department of Nuclear Medicine, Ibn Sina Hospital, Kuwait
6 Department of Nuclear Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Trakya University, Edirne, Turkey

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ismet Sarikaya
Department of Nuclear Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Kuwait University, PO Box 24923, Safat 13110
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DOI: 10.4103/wjnm.WJNM_53_18

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Various studies have reported to the superiority of semiquantitative (SQ) analysis over visual analysis in detecting metabolic changes in the brain. In this study, we aimed to determine the limitations of SQ analysis programs and the current status of F-18 fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG)-positron emission tomography (PET) scan in dementia. F-18 FDG-PET/computed tomography (CT) brain images of 39 patients with a history of dementia were analyzed both visually and semiquantitatively. Using the visually markedly abnormal F-18 FDG-PET images as standard, we wanted to test the accuracy of two commercially available SQ analysis programs. SQ analysis results were classified as matching, partially matching and nonmatching with visually markedly abnormal studies. On visual analysis, F-18 FDG-PET showed marked regional hypometabolism in 19 patients, mild abnormalities in 8 and was normal in 12 patients. SQ analysis-1 results matched with visual analysis in 8 patients (42.1%) and partially matched in 11. SQ analysis-2 findings matched with visual analysis in 11 patients (57.8%) and partially matched in 7 and did not match in 1. Marked regional hypometabolism was either on the left side of the brain or was more significant on the left than the right in 63% of patients. Preservation of metabolism in sensorimotor cortex was seen in various dementia subtypes. Reviewing images in color scale and maximum intensity projection (MIP) image was helpful in demonstrating and displaying regional abnormalities, respectively. SQ analysis provides less accurate results as compared to visual analysis by experts. Due to suboptimal image registration and selection of brain areas, SQ analysis provides inaccurate results, particularly in small areas and areas in close proximity. Image registration and selection of areas with SQ programs should be checked carefully before reporting the results.

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