Quantitative Comparison of 124I PET/CT and 131I SPECT/CT Detectability

Beijst, Casper, Kist, Jakob W, Elschot, Mattijs, Viergever, Max A, Hoekstra, Otto S, de Keizer, B, de Jong, Hugo W A M


Journal of Nuclear Medicine 57 (1), p. 103-8


UNLABELLED: Radioiodine therapy with (131)I is used for treatment of suspected recurrence of differentiated thyroid carcinoma. Pretherapeutic (124)I PET/CT with a low activity (∼1% of (131)I activity) can be performed to determine whether uptake of (131)I, and thereby the desired therapeutic effect, may be expected. However, false-negative (124)I PET/CT results as compared with posttherapeutic (131)I SPECT/CT have been reported by several groups. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether the reported discrepancies may be ascribed to a difference in lesion detectability between (124)I PET/CT and (131)I SPECT/CT and, hence, whether the administered (124)I activity is sufficient to achieve equal detectability.

METHODS: Phantom measurements were performed using the National Electrical Manufacturers Association 2007 image-quality phantom. As a measure of detectability, the contrast-to-noise ratio was calculated. The (124)I activity was expressed as the percentage of (131)I activity required to achieve the same contrast-to-noise ratio. This metric was defined as the detectability equivalence percentage (DEP).

RESULTS: Because lower DEPs were obtained for smaller spheres, a relatively low (124)I activity was sufficient to achieve similar lesion detectability between (124)I PET/CT and (131)I SPECT/CT. DEP was 1.5%, 1.9%, 1.9%, 4.4%, 9.0%, and 16.2% for spheres with diameters of 10, 13, 17, 18, 25, and 37 mm, respectively, for attenuation- and scatter-corrected SPECT versus point-spread function (PSF) model-based and time-of-flight (TOF) PET. For no-PSF no-TOF PET, DEP was 3.6%, 2.1%, 3.5%, 7.8%, 15.1%, and 23.3%, respectively.

CONCLUSION: A relatively low (124)I activity of 74 MBq (∼1% of (131)I activity) is sufficient to achieve similar lesion detectability between (124)I PSF TOF PET/CT and (131)I SPECT/CT for small spheres (≤10 mm), since the reported DEPs are close to 1%. False-negative (124)I PET/CT results as compared with posttherapeutic (131)I SPECT/CT may be ascribed to differences in detectability for large lesions (>10 mm) and for no-PSF no-TOF PET, since DEPs are greater than 1%. On the basis of DEPs of 3.5% for lesion diameters of up to 17 mm on no-PSF no-TOF PET, (124)I activities as high as 170 MBq may be warranted to obtain equal detectability.