Nonlinear compartmental model of F-18-choline

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Introduction: This work develops a compartmental model of F-18-choline in order to evaluate its biokinetics and so to describe the temporal variation of the radiopharmaceuticals' uptake in and clearance from organs and tissues. Methods: Ten patients were considered in this study. A commercially available tool for compartmental analysis (SAAM II) was used to model the values of activity concentrations in organs and tissues obtained from PET images or from measurements of collected blood and urine samples. Results: A linear compartmental model of the biokinetics of the radiopharmaceutical was initially developed. It features a central compartment (blood) exchanging with organs. The structure describes explicitly liver, kidneys, spleen, blood and urinary excretion. The linear model tended to overestimate systematically the activity in the liver and in the kidney compartments in the first 20 min post-administration. A nonlinear process of kinetic saturation was considered, according to the typical Michaelis-Menten kinetics. Therefore nonlinear equations were added to describe the flux of 18F-choline from blood to liver and from blood to kidneys. The nonlinear model showed a tendency for improvement in the description of the activity in liver and kidneys, but not for the urine. Conclusions: The simple linear model presented is not able to properly describe the biokinetics of 18F-choline as measured in prostatic cancer patients. The introduction of nonlinear kinetics, although based on physiologically plausible assumptions, resulted in nonsignificant improvements of the model predictive power. (C) 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


  • Federico Tavola
  • Tilman Janzen
  • Augusto Giussani
  • Danya Facchinetti
  • Ivan Veronese
  • Helena Uusijärvi
  • Sören Mattsson
  • Christoph Hoeschen
  • Marie Claire Cantone
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Medical Imaging


  • F-18-Choline, PET, Nonlinear model, Kinetic saturation, Prostate, carcinoma
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-268
JournalNuclear Medicine and Biology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Publication categoryResearch