Bundschuh, RA; Essler, M; Dinges, J; Berchtenbreiter, C; Mariss, J; Martínez-Möller, A; Delso, G; Hohberg, M; Nekolla, SG; Schulz, D; Ziegler, SI; Schwaiger, M
Semiautomatic algorithm for lymph node analysis corrected for partial volume effects in combined positron emission tomography-computed tomography.
Positron emission tomography-computed tomography (PET-CT) is superior compared to stand-alone PET in evaluation of malignancies. Few studies have employed high-resolution structural information to correct PET. We designed a semiautomatic algorithm using CT and PET to obtain a partial volume corrected (PVC) standardized uptake value (SUV) and a combined morphologic and functional parameter (multimodal SUV) for lymph node assessment. Lesions were segmented by a semiautomatic algorithm in CT images. Lesion volume was used for PVC and for calculating the multimodal SUV. The method was applied to 47 lymph nodes (30 patients) characterized as suspicious in 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose-PET-CT. In phantoms, PVC improved significantly the measured uptake of the lesion. In patients, 36 lymph nodes could be segmented without problems; in 11 lesions, a manual interaction was necessary. SUVs before PVC (mean 1.29) increased significantly (p< .0005) after PVC (mean 2.8). If SUV 2.5 was used as a threshold value to distinguish between benign and malignant lesions, 11 of the 47 lesions changed from benign to malignant after the PVC. The mean multimodal SUV was 0.39 mL for the benign lesions and 4.47 mL for the malignant lesions. In this work we presented a method for quantitative analysis of lymph nodes in PET-CT. PVC leads to significant differences in SUV.