. Automated image quantification methods of PET betaamyloid scans. Human Amyloid Imaging 2011 Meeting Abstracts. 2011 Jan 15;

Abstract:

Background: Automated, objective image processing of PET scans is of potential value when 18F PET amyloid tracers become available for clinical use. We have developed and tested PC executable code as a stand-alone software application which automatically places regions of interest (ROIs) onto human PET brain scans and extracts regional SUVr values for evaluating beta-amyloid levels.

Methods: Over 200 PET scans were analyzed, representing a combined group of healthy controls and subjects with probable Alzheimer's disease (AD). The Alzheimer's Disease Evaluation of Radiotracers software package (ADER): 1) reads the reconstructed images, 2) registers, in 3D, the subjectfs brain volume to a beta-amyloid PET template, 3) overlays the regions defined in the Automated Anatomical Labeled (AAL) template, 4) identifies areas of white and gray matter, and 5) uses predetermined ROIs from the AAL template to extract regional SUVr values for the 116 VOIs in the AAL template. These same PET scans were analyzed using a gold-standard rigorous manual technique in which MRI scans are co-registered to the PET scans for extracting gray matter counts for SUVr evaluation of amyloid burden.

Results: Compared to the gold-standard analysis, ADER provides similar regional and composite brain SUVr values. The R-values comparing the two methods exceeded 0.8 in all areas commonly evaluated for disease onset, with no statistically significant group differences. Individual scan processing time for ADER is 5% that required for the gold standard.

Conclusions: ADER, a fully automated and objective brain analysis software package: a) decreases processing time to evaluate beta-amyloid concentrations in human brains, b) potentially permits an objective method for comparing clinical results across imaging centers, and c) provides a method for testing currently available radiotracers targeting beta-amyloid and may serve as an adjunct to visual interpretation when these tracers are incorporated into the clinic.

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