Monte Carlo investigation of PET [68Ga]Ga-DOTA-TOC activity-administration protocols for consistent image quality

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One example of a PET exam that suffers from noise problems is [68Ga]Ga-DOTA-TOC, where patients are generally administered between 100 and 200 MBq [68Ga]Ga-DOTA-TOC, irrespective of size. However, a fixed activity can result in low signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs) in larger patients. This study aimed to evaluate the impact on image quality with respect to injected activity and patient habitus through Monte Carlo (MC) simulation. Eight anthropomorphic computer phantoms with body mass indices (BMIs) between 19 kg/m2 and 38 kg/m2 and tumours distributed in the liver were simulated using the MC software Gate v8.2 with an activity distribution defined according to [68Ga]Ga-DOTA-TOC standardised uptake values. Three activity-administration protocols were simulated: (i) with a fixed activity of 100 MBq, (ii) with the activity scaled by 2 MBq/kg, and (iii) with the activity scaled by a body size-dependent power-function based on the SNR obtained with (ii). BMI, weight, body surface area, and abdominal circumference were evaluated body size parameters. Images were reconstructed with the CASToR software and evaluated for background SNR and lesion contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR). Large SNR variabilities were obtained with protocols (i) and (ii), while (iii) generated good consistency. Several tumours failed to reach a CNR of 5 for large phantoms with protocol (i), but the CNR was generally improved by (ii) and (iii). An activity scaled by patient habitus generate better image quality consistency, which increases the likelihood that patients receive a similar standard of care.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere19504
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Sept

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Medical Imaging

Free keywords

  • Ga]Ga-DOTA-TOC
  • Anthropomorphic computer phantoms
  • Monte Carlo simulation
  • Positron emission tomography


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