Z-score maps from low-dose 18F-FDG PET
of the brain in neurodegenerative dementia
Fällmar D. et al.
Z-score maps from low-dose 18F-FDG PET of the brain in neurodegenerative dementia
Neuroimaging is a central part of diagnostic work-up of patients with suspected neurodegenerative disease. FDG-PET can reveal pathological changes earlier and more reliably than morphological imaging. Diagnostic accuracy can be improved by constructing 3D SSP Z-score maps, showing patterns of significant deficits. During FDG-PET, the subject receives a moderate but not insignificant dose of ionizing radiation, and a dose reduction with retained image quality is desirable. With lower dose, repeated examinations can become a useful tool for monitoring disease progress and potential effects of disease-modifying interventions.
The aim of this study was to evaluate Z-maps created from low-dose and normal-dose FDG-PET of the brain, with quantitative and qualitative methods. Nine patients with neurodegenerative disorders were prospectively enrolled and nine age-matched controls were recruited through advertising. All subjects (n=18) underwent two FDG-PET scans on separate occasions; a routine and a low-dose scan. The routine dosage of FDG was 3 MBq/kg, and low dosage was 0.75 MBq/kg. 3D-SSP images showing Z-scores of < -1.96 were created from 10-minute summations.
The study was comprised of a quantitative part comparing the Z-scores, and a qualitative part where experienced nuclear medicine specialists visually assessed the images. Regarding the quantitative part, Bland-Altman analysis showed a slight constant bias (0.206). Regarding qualitative discrimination between patients and controls, the performance between normal- and low-dose were equal, both showing 72% sensitivity, 83% specificity and 78% accuracy. In this study, visual assessment of 3D-SSP Z-score maps from low-dose FDG-PET provided diagnostic information highly comparable to normal-dose, with minor quantitative discrepancies.