Publications Repository - Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf

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Interobserver variability of image-derived arterial blood SUV in whole-body FDG PET
Hofheinz, F.; Maus, J.; Zschaeck, S.; Rogasch, J.; Schramm, G.; Oehme, L.; Apostolova, I.; Kotzerke, J.; van den Hoff, J.;
Background: Today, the standardized uptake value (SUV) is essentially the only means for quantitative evaluation of static [18 F-]fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) investigations. However, the SUV approach has several well-known shortcomings which adversely affect the reliability of the SUV as a surrogate of the metabolic rate of glucose consumption. The standard uptake ratio (SUR), i.e., the uptake time-corrected ratio of tumor SUV to image-derived arterial blood SUV, has been shown in the first clinical studies to overcome most of these shortcomings, to decrease test-retest variability, and to increase the prognostic value in comparison to SUV. However, it is unclear, to what extent the SUR approach is vulnerable to observer variability of the additionally required blood SUV (BSUV) determination. The goal of the present work was the investigation of the interobserver variability of image-derived BSUV.

Methods: FDG PET/CT scans from 83 patients (72 male, 11 female) with non-small cell lung cancer (N = 46) or head and neck cancer (N = 37) were included. BSUV was determined by 8 individuals, each applying a dedicated delineation tool for the BSUV determination in the aorta. Two of the observers applied two further tools. Altogether, five different delineation tools were used. With each used tool, delineation was performed for the whole patient group, resulting in 12 distinct observations per patient. Intersubject variability of BSUV determination was assessed using the fractional deviations for the individual patients from the patient group average and was quantified as standard deviation (SDis ), 95% confidence interval, and range. Interobserver variability of BSUV determination was assessed using the fractional deviations of the individual observers from the observer-average for the considered patient and quantified as standard deviations (SDp , SDd ) or root mean square (RMS), 95% confidence interval, and range in each patient, each observer, and the pooled data respectively.

Results: Interobserver variability in the pooled data amounts to RMS = 2.8% and is much smaller than the intersubject variability of BSUV (SDis = 16%). Averaged over the whole patient group, deviations of individual observers from the observer average are very small and fall in the range [− 0.96, 1.05]%. However, interobserver variability partly differs distinctly for different patients, covering a range of [0.7, 7.4]% in the investigated patient group.

Conclusion: The present investigation demonstrates that the image-based manual determination of BSUV in the aorta is sufficiently reproducible across different observers and delineation tools which is a prerequisite for accurate SUR determination. This finding is in line with the already demonstrated superior prognostic value of SUR in comparison to SUV in the first clinical studies.
Keywords: PET, FDG, Quantification, SUV, SUR, Blood SUV

Publ.-Id: 29038 - Permalink